Google Translates the 'Fresh Prince' Rap Into 64 Languages and Back

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

Will Smith's classic lines get flipped and turned upside down in the video below, at the mercy of Google's Translate algorithms. The musicians at cdza, a collective that makes funny music videos for YouTube, simply fed the text through one translation after another -- maxing out at 64 languages. Jeremie Harris's Will Smith impersonation and the live ensemble backing him up make for an entertaining spectacle: 

cdza's co-founder Joe Sabia calls this their "geekiest experiment ever:"

Technically speaking, all but the first verse were translated. The lyrics were translated from English to the world's most spoken language (Mandarin), to the second most (Spanish), to the third most, to the fourth most, ETC, putting all 64 languages in order by finding the demographic population size on every language on Wikipedia.

Fun facts: The last translation we put it through was "Esperanto", because apparently, only 10,000 people speak it. No one has an official language of "Latin", but we had to assume a lot of people are still able to speak it. So that was a bit ambiguous. Proper Nouns never really changed. Neither did numbers, as you can tell in the last stanza, "7, 8." We have no idea why we did this.

If this is their geekiest experiment, it's only by a small margin. Check out their madcap medley of mondegreens, below: 

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2013/01/google-translates-the-fresh-prince-rap-into-64-languages-and-back/267258/

For more by cdza, visit http://www.cdzamusic.com.

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