Sunday, July 26, 2009

Google Voice Telephone Game: The Results Blog

Last week, I blogged about the hysterically inadequate transcription service employed by Google Voice. I gave an example of a transcribed message that would lead you to believe the caller was having a stroke when they left it. Finally, I invited you to call me with some... uh... creative voice messages. You responded in kind.

Below are some of the funnier transcriptions I received since the Telephone Game was underway. I thought it would actually be more interesting and amusing if you don't get to hear what the caller actually said.

Not sure what this is about but sounds like this message was intended for a coach named Dean, not me.

A Shakespeare buff (I think.) Either way, I plan to re-evalutate my relationship with this person who, according to the transcription, thinks my name is James. Original "To Be Or Not To Be" text.

This caller's purposely cryptic message gets even more cryptic with images of dogs parking and flying.

Personally, I've never seen a sleaze triangle. I know you're probably curious so "scared process it was a box" was actually "scarecrow said in the Wizard of Oz" and "maxwell physics" was "math, not physics".

Sounds like a drunk dial from Captain Jack Sparrow who's currently working third shift as an office assistant in an building with a bad leak.

I think JK Rowling would love to know that Google voice translates VOLDEMORT to "hold of more", AVADA KADAVRA to "a part of the barbara" and DUMBLEDORE to "on the floor".

What do these results tell us? Does it mean that Google Voice SUCKS and is a waste of time? No. Of course not. It's FREE and, besides, I "less than three" my Google Voice account. It just means text-to-voice isn't perfect. It means that you should go the extra mile and listen to the voice file. You might be thinking that you could get the gist from the transcription, but here's why you shouldn't go by interpretation alone.

"Don't forget, I'll see you at the game." could be misconstrued to read "Just for that, I think you're lame."

"This is your mother's seamstress, I'm calling to find out when to meet with you." might be transcribed to "This is Roger's mistress. I'm calling to find out what he sees in you."

"I might be late, I'll have to text you from the car." could be erroneously translated to "I might be late, I'm having sex in the bar."

Listen to the voice mail before jumping to conclusions. Don't be that guy (or gal) that we read about in our twitter feed "Mistranslated Google Voice message leads to public humiliation."

Sidebar: I had both of my kids try to leave a message but Google Voice didn't seem to hear them at all... if only...

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