LOLCat Bible Translation Project

Bookmark and Share Monday, February 23, 2009

LOLcatWhen I discovered the LOLCat Bible Translation Project, I was stunned. Here is an an epic example of people with too much time on their hands, and an incredible display of public collaboration. In case you’re not familiar with LOLCat

A lolcat is an image combining a photograph, most frequently of a cat, with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as “lolspeak,” ”kitteh,” or “kitty pidgin” and which parodies the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang. The name “lolcat” is a compound word of the words “LOL” and “cat”. (Wikipedia)

So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the LOLCat Bible Translation Project is a wiki aiming to translate the Bible into lolspeak. Amazingly, most of the Bible is there. My first assumption was that this was populated with a translation program that converted an “easy English” version of the bible into lolspeak. But random checks of the content and page histories indicate an average of several edits per page by various users, adding enormous humor to the content that a translation program just couldn’t muster.

Take for example, the well known Psalm 23. Nine different editors have contributed to it since 2007 making various improvements and adding humor here and there. The final version contains a nicely lolspeaked rendition. And clicking through the various sections of the bible reveals that an extraordinary amount of it is complete.

I thought the real test would be a lesser known section of the Bible, so here is Lamentations 2:

OH NOES! book 2.0

1 OMG teh Ceiling Cat r rly angree!!1! Lissen, heer am storee uv hims raff.
Hao teh Ceiling Cat pwnz0rd teh girl kittehs of Zeyeon wit a puffy ov angrr!
Ceiling Cat haz threw down the gloreez of teh Izreels frum the Ceiling to da Urfs.
He no can has memries of his paw rests in teh dai ov his angrrs.

2 Him maked lotsa howsez, but him eated dem.
Witout teh mercee, teh Ceiling Cat eated awl da howsez of Jaykob cuz dey haz flavr.
In his angrrs he haz pwnd all teh bases of the girl kittehs ov Joodah.
He haz bringed Her base and itz princ kittehs down to da Urfs in for shamez!

It’s fun to see such an inane wiki project have such success, and its evidence that a properly motivated community around just about any subject can join together and create an impressive work using a wiki.

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