Impaired Closed Captioning: Super Mario Bros. 2

In early 2010, Google introduced a Transcribe Audio feature to YouTube that translated all speech in a video into useful captions mangled the heck out of my Mega Man videos, telling my viewers that "w

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In early 2010, Google introduced a Transcribe Audio feature to YouTube that translated all speech in a video into useful captions mangled the heck out of my Mega Man videos, telling my viewers that “we need your checking account” and to “believe Senator Obama.” These are obviously things I wouldn’t ever say in a Mega Man video, because I’d never use one of my creative works to spout propaganda read my blog.

More than half a year after its unintelligible debut, I checked in on Transcribe Audio to see if it had ditched its moneygrubbing liberal agenda. While the quantity of correctly interpreted pronouns had certainly increased, recognition of the parts that actually mattered still left something to be desired. That is, if you wanted a precise word-for-word translation. The video run of Super Mario Bros. 2 that Editor-in-Chief Paul Franzen, former staff writer Michael Gray, and yours truly collaborated on revealed that Transcribe Audio’s primary purpose was to introduce new phrases into our lexicon that would replace overused words, like “awesome”:

possum

Transcribe Audio also replaced my insufferable commentary with little-known facts about myself:

realtor

I swear, I was saying “Mega Man” there.

Transcribe Audio was also very good at stating the obvious, for the benefit of visually impaired viewers:

orange

Sometimes, I thought the translation was trying to be clever:

land mine

It wasn’t until the very end of the game that I realized the translation had become sentient. I don’t know what kind of sinister educational agenda it had for me, but I’m fairly certain we were between sentences and not saying anything when this popped up:

taxi history

Also, we’re horrible people. Especially Michael Gray.

slavery

GameCola is a brutal, terrible place. Paul writes about it all the time in his diary:

dismemberment

Disconcerting, considering what a fine upbringing he had. Unless Transcribe Audio totally botched the words “Mario 3 is da bomb”:

meritorious mom

Actually, that must have been a mistranslation, because I don’t think any of us know how to use the word “meritorious.” We do, however, know how to craft sentences that sound like rejected Beatles lyrics:

strange john

Truly, our talents know no bounds. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our understanding of grocery stores:

women supermarket

And honestly, you’d think Michael would’ve known something like that, considering the kind of educational television he grew up with:

sesame street

Yeah, I think we all deserve a fireball to the head for saying these kinds of things. Fortunately—and this is where I’ll leave you—Paul’s misinterpreted attempt to mention Dragon Warrior yielded an insightful factoid:

al qaeda vegetables

Special thanks to Transcribe Audio for making the world a better place.

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Nathaniel Hoover is almost certainly GameCola's most verbose staff member, and arguably the most eclectic. As administrator of the GameCola YouTube channel (GCDotNet), occasional contributor to every article category on the site, and staff editor, you're pretty much stuck with him wherever you go. Sorry.

4 Comments

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed, and thanks for the feedback! 🙂 Transcribe Audio did all the work, though; maybe I’ll write the content of my next post, record a video of me reciting what I wrote, and use whatever Transcribe Audio comes back with as the actual content of my post. Instant gold.

  2. Oh my god. I just read this for the first time in a while and I’m pretty sure I’m laughing my ass off just as hard now as I was then. Great find Mr. Hoover. Great find indeed. Has it improved over the years?

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