Dialect Generators4 da longest time, I resisted scratchin' dis column, because I didn't want yo' ass sucka's t' git da damn impression dat I is so despuh'ate 4 entertainment dat I sit around translatin' puh'fect-like well-written spida' pages into odd dialects. (Courtesy of The Jive Server, http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/ ~eclectic/toys/jive.html.) After all, I'm, like, totally a busy girl, fer sure. I have all sorts of, you know, important things to do, like shopping ... Psych! (Courtesy of Valley URL, www.80s.com/Entertainment/ValleyURL/.) But finawwy, i weawized that by keeping these diawect genewatows to mysewf (Elmer Fudd), I were deprivin' me readin' public of a delightful way ter waste time and bandwith (Cockney). Bork! Bork Bork! (Swedish Chef). (All courtesy of The Dialectizer, www.rinkworks.com/dialect.)
The basic idea behind these Web sites is to take a string of text, or an entire Web page, and translate it into any number of outlandish "dialects," from the surprisingly realistic "redneck" found at The Dialectizer to the tame "smurf" (at the Websmurfer, http://websmurfer.devnull.net/list.html). It's enough to make you buy everything that man wearing the sandwich board was saying about the end of the world. Don't believe me? Just picture how long it took someone to design the Web site — not to mention the actual program — used in the sophomoric, trilingual Pornolizer (www.pornolize.com).
The queen mother of these is Ringworks' Dialectizer, which not only translates both texts and URLs eight different ways, but also provides a pretty interesting explanation of how the generators work. Each dialect consists of search-and-replace strings, which hunt down letters, whole words or phrases. Ringworks also shrugs off accusations of copyright infringement on dialectized Web pages, insisting that the source material is never saved on their servers, and does not supplant demand for the original product.
But sometimes the dialect itself is owned, and then you just have to keep reminding yourself that these generators are supposed to be fun. My favorite celebrity generator is the T'inator (http://firefly.sparse.org/~mrt/), which not only transforms any high-text Web page into writing that Mr. T would be proud of, but also inserts candid shots of His Mohawkness into every graphic on the page. I pity the fool who doesn't try this out.
—Diana "jibba jabba" Peterfreund