Things you can do with Star Wreck.

July 23rd, 2008 by Antti Hukkanen

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!

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One Response to “Things you can do with Star Wreck.”

  1. Mithridates says:

    Hi, thanks for the mention, it’s an honour. Actually Star Wreck, Wikipedia and Selkouutiset are probably the three best ways to learn Finnish online (that I know of). I’m still wondering why nobody’s done Estonian subtitles yet. Technically they should be the easiest to do. Kas te kuulate, eestlased? Mul ei ole subtiiter eesti keeles, ma olen kurb (I hope that’s correct).

    (BTW I’m a he)