It’s very nearly three years since the premiere of Star Wreck, and we’ve largely moved on to bigger, better things, but the film seems to have taken on a life of its own. Just today, “Mithridates” of Page F30 blogged about a novel use for the film in a way that combines Google services and language, two subjects rather close to my own heart. He (she?) uses it as a tool for learning Finnish.
Mithridates had fed the Finnish subtitles of Star Wreck into the Google Translate service, and compared the resulting English (that was not particularly bad, surprisingly) to the Finnish to get an idea of the flow of the dialogue. For added punch, he separated all the words with full stops, creating a word list for which Google then provided the translations. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: automated dictionary lookup!
Earlier, Mithridates wrote about the value of the annotated translation to the study of Finnish as a foreign language. Obviously, this is mainly useful for people who already know the basics of Finnish grammar and so on, but still – it’s so gratifying when people find unexpected new uses for your work. That’s communality at its best!