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'Chretienizer' makes fun of Canadian leader's speech

By delfstrom in MLP
Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 09:17:15 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Enter your destination web address into The Chretienizer and it will translate the text on any web page into a dialect that reads remarkably like it was spoken by the Hon. Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien.

Yes, it's true that Chretien's awkward word use could be due to a genetic flaw. Of course, that's never stopped editorial cartoonists from making fun of his diction. And it certainly didn't stop us! At first the Chretienizer may seem like a novelty, but there is actually a bit more to this story than meets the eye.

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So here's the story. Back in 1995 two guys in Toronto named Rob Stanley and Andrew Chak created the Great Web Canadianizer web page translator. Rob did the code, Andrew did the interface. It became extremely popular. It was also one of the first tunneling/gateways/pseudo-anon web browsing tools, and provided people in other countries a way to read blocked sites - as long as they didn't mind reading text that looked like it was written by a bunch of hosers, eh? ;-)

Around 1997 they sold the code to Molson breweries for use on their website. It wasn't up for long when the NY Times and NandoNet sent Cease-And-Desist letters, claiming (wrongfully) copyright infringement. The NYT particularly took offense the 'framing' of their site and the changing of certain words, such as with the PanAm 800 article where 500 dead people were turned into 500 dead hosers. Molson backed down and removed it from their site.

Rob lives in Singapore now and no longer has the source code or the program. He said it would be fine for me to take a stab at creating another one.

So I did. Only it kind of took on a life of it's own, and I ended up creating a Chretien dialect at the same time.

My co-worker Jeff Stainsby did the Perl code and I did the language translation and interface. So how does it work? When you enter a web site address into The Chretienizer, the program automatically pulls the text from the structure of the web page, translates it, and reassembles the page, all in a matter of seconds. The translation is based on a set of 143 linguistic rules (well okay, regexp's) that look for letter patterns. For example, the letter sequence "pop" is replaced by "poop", so that the word "popular" becomes "poopular".

At the same time as the Cretienizer was under development, I got a fun idea: Create a slashcode-based community called BUZZ.CA - Biting Canadian News and Discussion. Does the world need yet another weblog/news discussion site? Probably not. Then again, there hasn't been a well-publicized weblog strictly for Canadians. Canadian discussions pop up from time to time on sites like Kuro5hin, so maybe it's time we had our own watering hole. There seemed to be a gap that needed to be filled, so I filled it. The Chretienizer has turned out to be an important (read: cheap) promotional tool for Buzz.CA.

What about the Canadian dialect? Never fear, it won't be long before that Bob and Doug McKenzie-based dialect appears! Until then, feel free to play around with the Chretienizer. In fact, why not try browsing kuro5hin with it right now? As it says, "Da bes' stories of da day, chosen by you."


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What web dialect translator should be next?
o Arnold Schwarzenegger 17%
o Bob & Doug Mackenzie 14%
o Scooby-Doo 10%
o Elmo 5%
o 3l337 h4xx0r 30%
o Revive the Jar-Jargonizer! 22%

Votes: 70
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o The Chretienizer
o could be due to a genetic flaw
o Great Web Canadianizer
o a way to read blocked sites
o their website
o NY Times
o NandoNet
o Bob and Doug McKenzie
o browsing kuro5hin with it
o Also by delfstrom

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'Chretienizer' makes fun of Canadian leader's speech | 12 comments (12 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Scooby-doo dialect (2.00 / 1) (#1)
by delfstrom on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 12:21:44 AM EST

Okay, I went ahead and made it. You can now use the Chretienizer to browse Kuro5hin in Scooby-Doo. Laffs a-plenty, right, Rhaggy?


Mmmm...... (none / 0) (#2)
by [ E V I L G E E K ] on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 01:02:27 AM EST

What about this, this, this, this and this?

I like it!
We are nihilists; we believe in nothing!
[ Parent ]
Nothing to see here. Move along. (2.00 / 1) (#4)
by delfstrom on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 01:11:20 AM EST

Yeah, I've been working on these for a little while. Some work better than others. For example, shouldn't the Scooby dialect leave "S" alone?

As for the others... well, they're still under construction, and a little broken. Did you manage to guess what #5 is?

[ Parent ]

Lessee... (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by rusty on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 07:06:57 PM EST

Well, dialect 0 is the Chretienizer. The other seem to be:
  1. [nothing]
  2. Zoinks! Rhe Rhoobyizer!
  3. ???
  4. Igpay Atinizerlay
  5. EBG-46-vmre
  6. It's either Babwa Wawters or Elmer Fudd. Who can tell the diffwence anyway?
  7. |)00|)! 7h47'Z |<-R4|)!!
  8. Every, like, English-speaking person in the, like, world between the ages of like, 10 and 21, duh?
  9. What the site would look like if it wasn't for all of you contributing? ;-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Links to other translators (3.50 / 4) (#3)
by delfstrom on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 01:02:42 AM EST

Should have mentioned these other dialect translators in the article: --David

Ask Jeeesus.... about the french! (2.00 / 2) (#5)
by [ E V I L G E E K ] on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 01:14:36 AM EST

I found this hilarious.

We are nihilists; we believe in nothing!
[ Parent ]
We need another (1.00 / 2) (#7)
by squigly on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 04:33:22 AM EST

Nobody 'as written an Ali G iser?

People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
Ali G-iser (2.00 / 1) (#8)
by Aquarius on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 06:03:20 AM EST

Naturally someone has writtun a Ali G-isa. It's havailable for all yous wicked users at http://www.netscapeonline.co.uk/alig, so me hope yous dig its use.


"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace" -- Ronin, Frank Miller
[ Parent ]
amusing (2.00 / 3) (#6)
by 31: on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 01:28:34 AM EST

and if you'll pardon me, i gotta go drink some pop

I had to post this to front page (2.00 / 1) (#9)
by greyrat on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 08:26:50 AM EST

...because I was laughing so hard at this that I selected the wrong dropdown item. Oh well. At least it looks more legit than the Jesus site (from a distance) and my boss will think the giggling is my normal thing.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

Just for the hell of it (3.50 / 6) (#10)
by Dakkon on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 09:20:59 AM EST

I decided to run K5 through both Ask Jesus and The Chretienizer.


It is amusing to say the least. :)

I actually wanted to buy that domain ! (2.00 / 1) (#11)
by loprox on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 09:36:48 AM EST

Seriously ! A while back I wanted to buy it but decided to wait... and forget about it. Well I gotta say the Chretienizer is some cool shit ! I am from his home town and I have talked to him and I swear to God the Chretienizer actually sounds like him... very scary !

You mean... meatloaf is made with... MEAT?
'Chretienizer' makes fun of Canadian leader's speech | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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