Confusing automated translators.

Anton Vredegoor anton at
Wed Jul 23 22:34:11 CEST 2003

Irmen de Jong <irmen at> wrote:

>>>"Als achter vliegen vliegen vliegen, vliegen vliegen vliegen achterna."
>> ...and the meaning is?
>If behind flies flies fly, flies fly after flies.
>(I'm not too sure about the correct word order in English,
>but this resembles the Dutch sentence most, IMO).

This is just a translation. The Dutch sentence already has meaning
[1], so claiming that the English translation of the sentence is the
meaning of the Dutch sentence seems a bit paraconsistent. If one were
to look for a sentence in English which has the same meaning as the
original Dutch sentence, I would rather use an analogous sentence:

"If there's a cat on the mat, there's a mat under the cat"

However this loses the ambiguity of "following something flying".


[1] The meaning may be unclear to the non-native speaker

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