Mr. Richard Roll, Esq.

By Shamus Posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009

Filed under: Nerd Culture 23 comments

So I decided to run the lyrics through Babelfish to another language and back to English again. I originally wanted to run it through French, but it became too badly mangled to be interesting.

(Note: For the original input I removed all of the contractions and slang. “Gonna” became “going to” and so on. Babelfish apparently has trouble with English contractions.)


We are not others whom it should love.
To know rule, therefore do I.
Complete responsibility is concerning those which I think.
This is not obtained from the other every person.
I I how feel exactly, think that we would like to call.
I do not become make understand.

Abandoning never it goes.
Being disappointed never it goes.
Running around, throwing away never it goes.
Making the scream never it goes.
Saying good bye never it goes.
It is lie, damaging never it goes.


We are not disowned to love.
You know the rules and so as to make the I.
A complete engagement is to what I am thinking.
You would not obtain this from any other type.
I want hardly dirgli as I am thinking.
I must urge it to understand.

Never not going to give it in on.
Never not going to leave it down.
Never not going to work around and abandoning it.
Never not going rendergli outcry.
Never not going to say good bye.
Never not going to say a lie and to damage it.

And yes, I am playing around with the Rick Roll meme now that everyone has gotten sick of it and moved on. I think being out of style is a defining attribute of nerdishness.


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23 thoughts on “Mr. Richard Roll, Esq.

  1. antsheaven says:

    “I want hardly dirgli as I am thinking.”

    Took me a while to figure that “dirgli” is italian.

    And I love how “never going to” becomes “never not going to” somewhere in the process.

  2. Jazmeister says:

    Yo dawg, you should translate it from english, into english, then back into english.

  3. Jaedar says:

    You should try google translate instead, it usually works better.

  4. RPharazon says:

    You know, it’s not exactly a sign of nerdishness when you’re out of style with an internet meme. It’s even more unstylish than being out of style.

    Now, if we can get this to loop in on itself and become into style again, that’d be something.

  5. neolith says:

    You rickrolled Babelfish? That IS pretty nerdy! :D

  6. atreusmonk says:

    Google Translate (Japanese):

    We are strangers to love
    Because they know the rules you and me,
    My full commitment is what I’m thinking
    From other men it is impossible
    I want you to feel what
    You have to understand

    You’ll never give up
    You never like to disappoint, going
    Go to the desert to perform the absolute
    Never to cry, go
    Saying goodbye is never going
    Tell a lie and never going to hurt you

  7. Cuthalion says:

    That is awesome. I love the Japanese one.

    And while Google seemed to do better with the verse, the chorus is still horribly mangled.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Never not going to give it in on”

    Bwahaha!This one is the best!

    And you are not just playing with one old meme,but also with the old sport of bablefishing.

  9. Julian says:

    My gym rickrolled us the other day. They play Aspen radio, which plays “classic” tunes, mostly from the 80s and 70s era, with some 90s music thrown in. They were talking about the the Rick Astley/Nirvana mashup and played Smells like Teen Spirit, then… they rickroll’d the entire gym.

  10. zimboptoo says:

    Reminds me of multibabel []. Amusing little site someone threw together that runs your words through babel and back in several different languages in a row, and then shows you the steps. A great example of taking something to its illogical extreme.

  11. Rhykker says:

    Heheh, good stuff.

    “Dirgli” means “tell him,” in Italian.

    “Rendergli” means “make him.”

    Basically, the “gli” suffix implies doing something to someone else.

  12. ClearWater says:

    I was thinking besides getting rid of the contractions and slang, you also have to make the lyrics grammatically correct for bablefish to make a proper translation (and back).

    I was wrong. It’s still nonsense. The most notable line I got with Japanese was “I probably will not say good bye under any condition.”

  13. UtopiaV1 says:

    Weird… thankyou for making this the first thing I see on a monday morning, i’ll never get any work done now!

  14. froogger says:

    Sounds like a great activity for a forum: “Guess the babel-mangled song”. Too bad forums are dying out. I blame twitter.

  15. Monsieur Vatel says:

    I think being out of style is a defining attribute of nerdishness.

    I was uncool before uncool was cool.

    On a related note, it’s interesting to see what happens when you translate the relatively high-context English of the song’s refrain to another high-context language, in this case Japanese, and see how the automated translation software interprets it. Though it’s apparent to us as native speakers of English, the subject of all the verbs in the chorus is implicitly “I”, but of course the computer can’t tell that.

  16. MelTorefas says:

    The Japanese mangled one was the best. Probably because Italian is a much closer language to English, and all. Thanks for this bit of morning cheer!

  17. J Greely says:

    A while back, I took the Japanese text of a sign found at and ran it through seven different online J-E services, with amusing results.

    Word 2007 includes a free translation service, and when I fed it some relatively simple, straightforward Japanese prose, it did a surprisingly good job. Unfortunately, almost no one in Japan writes simple, straightforward prose, so its application is limited…


  18. Krellen says:

    The best things about these is that they actually scan pretty well. Now I want to see some drunk Japanese guy singing the Japanese re-translated version in a karaoke bar.

  19. Pickly says:

    Sorry for the way off topic, but is there a rerquirtement for PMing people in steam that I’m missing? (Was trying to report someone to rutskarm in team fortress 2, but was unable to get the PM to work in the out of game steam window.)

  20. Vladius says:

    It never gets old, especially after that “Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up” thing.

  21. I thought I kick it up a notch and translate through two languages and back. Check out the Rickrollwhisper and the code on the blog.

  22. Nyaz says:

    Oh my goodness, that multibabel mentioned higher up is just beyond hilarious :D

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