Date: 2008-03-16 10:36:00
the tacos with international appeal
The other day I set up a Google Alerts notification for "nuclear tacos", so I could watch people blogging about the fallout from last Monday's Nuclear Taco Night at SXSW 08. There have been a few amusing comments.

The google alert drew my attention to my own entry two years ago where I had done a bunch of work to update my list of how to say "I like to eat nuclear tacos" in many different languages. Looking at the list now, it seems that my work then has been lost.

Last year around this time, two unrelated events came together to conspire against the preservation of this list. First, my colo server had a hard drive crash and I wasn't able to recover the directory where that file lived. Second, my laptop was stolen. I had used UniRed, a good Unicode text editor for Windows, to edit the file and upload it to my server. Both the working and the published file were gone.

This entry was originally intended to be a sad story of data loss, but as I was writing I found that has a copy as of 31 October 2006! Yay! I have restored the file in all its current glory. And I have better backups now.
Ah, good, after looking at the .orig file, I was going to say that the Polish text was terrible, but I see the restored version has a good Polish version. :)

Nice to see Slovio on the list! But what about Lojban and Volapük and Latin? So many languages, so few tacos...
I'm all for more contributions! I might be able to figure out how to do Lojban, but I recall such things being highly nonobvious. Any others you can provide would be welcome. :)
[info]pne : Lojban
My stab at Lojban would be {mi nelci lo nu citka lo ratmidju cidjrtako}.

({ratmidju} for "nucleus" is from NORALUJV.txt.)

YMMV; I'm far from being a fluent speaker.
The Arabic looks completely messed up, at least in Opera. Roughly as if each word is individually back-to-front and then encoded with shaped characters (e.g. "final-form lam" rather than just plain "lam" and trusting to the browser's and/or operating system's font renderer to do the character shaping depending on what's around it).

(Looks all right in Firefox, but you still should probably not be using explicit character shapes.)

Unfortunately, I don't know enough Arabic to say what the correct sentence would be. But assuming that the use of explicit shapes is the only that went wrong, it's probably "أحب أن أكل الطاكو النووي". (Though if the second word is "I", then I would have expected "أنا" or (probably) "انا" instead of "أن".

As for the German, I'm tempted to say "gerne" instead of just "gern": "Ich mag gerne Kerntacos essen."

And the meaning is not that obvious, since "Kern" is "kernel" or "core" and could also apply to, say, a taco made with cherry pits. On the other hand, "Kern" is probably the most common morpheme for nuclear things (e.g. Kernkraftwerk "core-strength-works" = "nuclear power station"). Still, perhaps "Nukleartacos" might be better.

And as for the Greek, there's a typo; πυρινικά should be πυρηνικά. (Sounds exactly the same, so not an uncommon mistake even for a native speaker.)
Wow, thanks! The mistakes in transcription are certainly my own, especially the Arabic. I believe I was working from a written sentence as an image, and I didn't realise browsers were supposed to automatically supply the final forms. Or, whatever browser I was using at the time didn't do it right.

As for the kernel/nucleus/radioactive confusion (as well as the languages that just say "spicy"), it's a slightly tricky problem but ends up adding a nice bit of whimsy to the whole thing.

I'll make those changes and add Lojban.
Ah, yes now I see what I did with the Arabic. I did all the hard work that the OS font renderer was supposed to do! I've fixed that and it now shows properly in all the browsers I have.

Previously, on OS X Opera, the Arabic language name (which I copied from Wikipedia) showed up but the nuclear tacos text was all unrenderable boxes.
Greg Hewgill <>