Friday Filler – The Trouble with Interpreting Stereotypes with Google Translate

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

This has been a wild week for the “Crankster” and his extended family! As I may have mentioned, I am in New Jersey, visiting the latest addition to my Patric Miller Progeny, one Jacob (Jake) Patric McGuire, who is a heart-breaker already!

I will post pics after the fold…for those who love cute baby pictures. Because…this kid is adorable by any standard! Yes. I am biased…but, he is also grandson #6, so I have a pretty clear metric for measuring “adorable.”  He is. Period.

Getting away from the insanity of the worldview of day-to-day has been an amazing blessing, at a time when it seems that almost every possible thing that seems relatively harmless, isn’t.  Or, at least has come into the cross-hairs of a group that is “offended” by something or another. The Simpsons have been in the news over the past couple of weeks. It has been interestingly “cringe-worthy” on a couple of levels.

And then…in the middle of it all…I was contacted by a TSTO reader/fan from France…who seemingly refuses, or is incapable, of emailing to me in English. I get it. If I was trying to write to him in French, there could be all sorts of mistakes made. Thank Grog for Google Translate (I think)!  It helped me unravel a whole range of questions that needed closer examination, and perhaps a couple that beg the question of, “should I be flattered or offended?

It started out with this reader sending me some 3-D examples of his town…

Let’s take a look…

But before we get to the “French Connection,”  I want to clear the air about the whole “Apu Apex” that has happened over the last couple of weeks.  For those of you living under a rock, a comedian by the name of Hari Kondabolu, who is of East Indian heritage, has a documentary out called “The Problem with Apu.” (It can be streamed on TrueTV Here). It came out in November of 2017, but the kerfuffle has only really come to a head recently, because “The Simpsons” made a fairly lame attempt to brush the topic under the rug, by using their most trustworthy duo, Lisa and Marge, to put the matter to rest.

I watched the documentary. Well done. Good points. And I get it. But, will it make a difference? 

There are loads of articles about the give and take…but, the bottom line, is that between the promo for the film, and some back and forth between Fox/Gracie, and Matt Groening, Hank Azaria (the VOICE of Apu) was pretty much caught in a “deer in the headlights” moment on the Stephen Colbert show, where he finished by saying, he would be “perfectly willing and happy to step aside, or help transition it into something new.”

Groening…was not as open-minded. See his reply here…

I am not going to try to defend Groening, he is a “full grown man” as they like to say these days.  But, I will say, that if anyone…and I mean anyone…is offended by the Simpsons, or anything in TSTO…they haven’t been paying attention. The Simpsons has been an “Equal Opportunity Offender” for as long as the show has been on the air. It has been loved and reviled by the media, watch groups, and countless parent groups for decades…and even chastised by a President (Bush the first) with little or no results, other than to make the show more popular.

I cringe with some of the stereotypical humor that is portrayed on the show and in the game.  It is rampant.  However…the primary target of the most destructive and persistently mean dialogue is directed at the main character…a fat, bald, middle-aged white guy. Homer J. Simpson.  Homer, and the vast majority of the males of all ages in the series, are always made out to be morons…and “lesser than” to almost any of the females. There is a reason that all of the good, wise, and kind lines come from Marge and Lisa. But, even here,  their main failing continues to be that they are attracted to men. Stupid, loafish, moronic men. Go Figure.

So…what I am saying to anyone who is offended…GET OVER IT… or stop watching or playing TSTO.  We take life waaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously these days. Trolls are everywhere…with loads of agendas (like pimping online documentaries from comedians that nobody has heard of). If our leaders are online bullies, we are shocked when the rest of the world follows suit?  There are just larger issues to take up.

So…as an aging, old, fat, white guy…who is lampooned by almost every TV sitcom ever invented…I say once again…get over it. It’s the Simpsons.  Even Lisa watches Itchy and Scratchy. 


I got a request to take a look at some screen shots in a fan’s town.  No problem. Getting a ton of these after starting the “Town Tours” segment.  But, the entire message was in French. As in wall-to-wall…real deal French. Which I do not speak. Heck…I didn’t even do well in my HS Spanish class.  I can only remember how to say, “I forgot my meatballs in the record player,” which doesn’t come up much in conversational Spanish.

So…I did what any Red-Blooded ‘meri-cun” does when he is flummoxed by something outside of his comfort zone…I did a Google Translate.  I read his message(s) in Google Translate…and then sent him what I HOPED was the correct reply in French.

Pretty cool….

He turned me onto the French version of TSTOAddicts/Friends, and once again, I hit the “Translate” button, when it came up, so I had some idea of what I was looking at. Again…the results were satisfyingly fun, and weird…

Je français et fan de votre site.
Je vous envoie mes screens  de ma ville pour l article des effets 3d.
À mettre mon pseudo : schauviere951
Bonne continuation  Schauviere951

Here is how Google Translated…

I French and fan of your site. I send you my screens of my city for Article 3d effects. To put my nickname: schauviere951
Good continuation

OK… Not exactly sure that “Good Continuation” means…but I got the drift.

From there…it got interesting.  I’ll post the dual translations as best I can. They get pretty funny…

I replied:
Je ferai une demande d’ami pour vous et jetez un oeil à votre ville. Ce sont des designs amusants! Excusez mon français. J’utilise Google Translate … parce que je ne parle pas français!
I will do a friend request for you and take a look at your town. These are fun designs! Pardon my French. I am using Google Translate…because I don’t speak French!

J’ai regardé ta ville et je l’aime vraiment! Je voudrais en savoir plus sur vous. Quel âge avez-vous? De quel pays êtes vous? Depuis combien de temps jouez-vous à TSTO?

I looked at your city and I really like it! I would like to know more about you. How old are you? From what country you’re? How long have you been playing at TSTO?

To which he replied:
J ai 36 ans, français. Je joue depuis 4 ans au simpson.

Dans le jeu ce qui me plait c est l’aménagement et la décoration.
J’aime bien reproduire des coins historiques comme le grand alignement des monuments de Washington et les parcs.
Ma spécialité est de faire des recherches et de croiser les items de différentes mises à jour. J adore la nature et les parcs à la française, d’où mon grand parc. Pour le réaliser j’ai beaucoup étudier les plans, les gravures, visites sur place de parc historiques (Versailles, chantilly, villandry, sceaux, saint cloud, marly le roi, fontainebleau, saint Pétersbourg, vaux le vicomte, caserte, postam, rambouillet…) et de créations personnelles. J aime bien reproduire des lieux historiques d André le nôtre.

Which translates to:
J am 36 years old, French. I play for 4 years at Simpson.

In the game what I like c is the layout and decoration. I like to reproduce historical corners like the great alignment of the monuments of Washington and parks. My specialty is to research and cross items of different updates. J loves nature and parks in the French, hence my big park. To achieve this I have a lot to study plans, engravings, visits historic park (Versailles, Chantilly, Villandry, seals, saint cloud, marly the king, Fontainebleau, St. Petersburg, worth the Viscount, Caserta, postam, Rambouillet …) and personal creations. J likes to reproduce historical places of André ours.

SEE??  Kinda Fun...and then I found out what site he was going to regularly (besides ours?).

The name of the site translates like this…

Hmmm…Sounds strangely like TSTOFriends, my old blog site. But, no harm, no foul. Plagiarism is the most sincere form of flattery…right?

But when you go to the site, there are some hilariously weird translations of the categories…at least I think they are weirdly wrong…no matter what Google Says..

The site of Mom Cat?...OK then. 

Look…you need to see this for yourself. Hit “TRANSLATE” when you get there, if you are using Chrome. It is worth some exploring. There are some hilarious phrases that must be mangled French…via Google Translate.

Yes. They lift a TON of our ideas…including Safi’s bracket battles. It’s like we have French Dopplegangers…but no really CrankyOldGuys to be found. Mama Cat would not put up with it, apparently.

But then…when you see the work of my new French Friend…you realize that thousands of miles, and language barrier mean nothing when it comes to designing with TSTO. This is some really fun stuff…Not Quite to the level of Scorpio in last week’s post…but then, Scorpio is a master in any language.  This guy is just more of a “Le sous-lieutenant”


So… Like I said…it’s fun, but not really up to “Master Level.”  The FUN part is in the fact that he found us…he reached out…and the Google Translate works…kinda.

The rest of my week?  It has been loaded to the gills with Grandparent fun!  We have been hanging with Katie and Ryan, the “big brothers” Brandon and Austin, and of course, the latest addition, Jake (who will be 3 weeks old on Mother’s Day!  Here are a few snaps from the action…including a surprise connection with the Head Addict herself, and her gracious (for putting up with Addicts) husband, Andrew!

Just to put aside any question as to whether I am still capable of “multi-tasking,” the answer is…YES!

Yes…I was on baby patrol when the new update hit. Luckily for me, after loads of raising kids and taking care of grandkids, this was easy…

Then, because I proved my “Baby Whisperer” talents as a grandpa who can settle down any baby easily, I was recruited for solo=grandpa duty for 3 hours, while Mom and Grandma (Deb) went for a pedicure and some early Mother’s Day shopping. No sweat…

And finally…Deb and I were treated by Alissa and Andrew to an AMAZING steak dinner at Wolfgang’s!  The “head Addict” (the REAL Mamma Cat?) lives just a couple of townships over from Katie and Ryan, so we were able to hook up for an official “Addicts business outing” at one of the best steakhouses anywhere. It. Was. Amazing!

So…another week, another town to look at (and translate), and a face-t0-face with the head addict.  This has been a pretty great trip!

Who shot Mr. Burns?  Not sure I care…but, I can say that I am very, very, very, happy to finally be done with Act III of the last debacle. It will make Mother’s Day a lot easier…even without Sarah Wiggum. And I clearly have some great mothers in my life!

Happy Mother’s Day to all who qualify!



26 responses to “Friday Filler – The Trouble with Interpreting Stereotypes with Google Translate

  1. A bit late (I was out of the internet for one week) but “Good continuation” is a polite way of ending a letter in french, its equivalent in english could be “good day to you”.

  2. This is the biggest load of bull. A comedian with no sense of humor. I think they should do an Apu episode with every Indian stereotype they can think of. Oh wait, they did Much Apu About Nothing. One of the most beloved classic episodes in the 29 year history. Remember Barbara Bush complaining they made the “average” American family look bad? Do I get offended when they make gay jokes? No. Not all at even if they don’t represent me as a gay man. It’s a stereotype and it’s funny. Get over it.

  3. I’m glad you brought up the Apu thing cause this really bothers the out of me I think America has become such a sissy we are too fragile this day and age everybody is so offended about everything now a day can’t we just laugh I mean come on your dissecting a character from the Simpsons.. the Simpsons. Lol from 30 years ago times were different but no now Amy Schumer is apologizing for her latest movie it’s too much. But these people who are so concerned with Apu’s character I say um hello what about the poor slack jawed yokel named Cletus where is the out cry for him or the mean old rich Republican white guy, the Italian mobster, They’re all stereotypes that’s what makes it funny they’re not doing it maliciously but it’s the the middle eastern that gets the underwear in knots? It’s this super sensitive nonsense that’s making me sick. I’m just saying if you’re going to fuss about a character on the “Simpsons ” then you’re just looking to get yourself all worked up. But that’s my opinion on it thanks. I feel for the up coming comedy.

  4. Lol! Talking about lost in translation… Hilarious, but the French will not back down on their language. Annoying and admirable at the same time. And of course, the language of TSTO is universal.
    (btw: “postam” is probably Potsdam (i.e. palace of Sanssouci), would fit in with the list of parks schauviere951 sent you.)

  5. Nice article, congrats grandpa!

  6. Very cute!!! Congrats!!!

    I can read French pretty well, but as far as speaking it goes, there’s a certain McDonald’s in Montreal that is probably still laughing at me. 🙂

  7. Hi Patric, feel free to ask if you need help with emails in French, I am French so I can help! Anyway Google does a fairly good job ;). I have been on the other website you mention a couple times, it is indeed very similar to this one in terms of content. But I rather stick to this blog, thanks for the good work!

  8. The translations are not perfect but still good enough. Google translate is very useful when you see a language you do not know a word.

  9. Congratulations on your newest grandson Patric! A real cutie!

  10. Good-looking designs by the Frenchman (love the “Rock” pit) and a very welcome addition to the New Jersey brotherhood in Jake. Congrats, Pat, and inhale as many steaks as possible in the birthplace of Scorpio.

  11. Unrelated. Any one else having issues seeing squidport items in their store?

  12. missdblue2185

    Thank you for the laughs “Crankster”. Adorable baby, so very precious. Gorgeous town by schauviere951. He gets it. The pleasure is in designing a beautiful city using different items in unique ways. You get there by tapping, tapping some more, and then tap again and again. But the joy comes in being “The Creator” of your town. You own it, you run it, you design it as you want.

  13. What a beautiful baby! I have eight kids so I figure in a decade or so the grandkids will start rolling in.

    • Once they start…they just keep coming! This is number five for us…

      • Aafreen Inayat

        Patric, congrats to you & your family on the new bundle of joy 🙂

        But I got a bit confused at your above comment. At the top of the post, you wrote “… Yes. I am biased…but, he is also grandson #6, so I have a pretty clear metric…..”

        But then you told Leela “This is number five for us…”

        So how many grand kids do you have?? How many are girls & how many are boys??

        And yes, I pay attention 😀

        • Ok. So it’s complicated…
          If I include the two little guys we inherited whenwo Katie an Ryan got married, Deb and I have 7 grandkids total. Only one is a girl… so the math can get fuzzy. Five biological and two that came as a package deal.

          • Aafreen Inayat

            Ok, that cleared it up ……. I bet the granddaughter wishes for a cousin sister each time she hears of a pregnancy in her maternal family

  14. Enjoy reading your news, just had to say love the baby pictures. No denying who Grandid is.

  15. Great and hilarious post Patric couldn’t help but imagine a scenario with you in a Spanish shop saying “forgot my meatballs in the record player,” like the monty python “hungarian phrasebook” sketch

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