Tags:


Water bariccades gladdly received
September 8, 2010 10:58 PM   Subscribe

Queen's English 50c: A translation service for English-speaking 50cent fans.
posted by Dr Dracator (62 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Is there any more racist comedy than the "translation" of black people communicating into high diction Proper Anglo?

Yes, there are plenty of comedy ideas more racist than that. But this particular one KEEPS GETTING POSTED ON GODDAMN INTERNET in various forms.

Oh look, twitter this time.
posted by damehex at 11:01 PM on September 8, 2010 [18 favorites]


Not that 50 isn't a buffoon or whatever but seriously, give it a rest.
posted by damehex at 11:03 PM on September 8, 2010


Oh now you're just being racist. TO ENGLISH PEOPLE.
posted by Artw at 11:18 PM on September 8, 2010


– Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
– I do bite my thumb, sir.
– Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?


Plus ça change ...
posted by labberdasher at 11:23 PM on September 8, 2010


Not that 50 isn't a buffoon or whatever but seriously, give it a rest.

That's a 15th-century term for black pirate! Racist!

-Brought to you by the SCTWRQ3RTEMDBMDH (Society of Citizens That Would Rather Quote 30 Rock Than Engage in a Meaningful Dialogue, Because Meaningful Dialogue is Hard)
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 11:38 PM on September 8, 2010


People really need to stop with this unfunny joke....or die trying.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:43 PM on September 8, 2010


My eyes are in perfect working order. And something about pepper.

Okay, that deserves a chuckle.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:51 PM on September 8, 2010


But...but....he takes slang words used by the real 50 Cent, and translates them into their regular English meaning! Like 'hoe' to 'garden implement'. That's funny! It is!
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:10 AM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this thread's minutes are numbered, but if you come in here looking for genuinely clever Twitter-based linguistic humour, look no further than @FakeAPStylebook:

The correct plural forms are as follows: surgeons general, brothers-in-law, Spiders-Man.

Seriously, Jerry. Gold.
posted by gompa at 12:15 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bloody hell there's a typo in that link. Mods, please fix before deleting thread?

Anyway, here's the proper link: @FakeAPStylebook

Avoid repeating common myths: we only use 10% of our brains, drink 8 glasses of water a day, man landed on the moon.

Gold.
posted by gompa at 12:18 AM on September 9, 2010


Shouldn't it be the Queen's English 50p?
posted by chimaera at 12:25 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should have been called @50pence.
posted by Jimbob at 12:28 AM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ok, "yal be buggin" = "you resemble insects" is kind of funny
posted by dabug at 12:35 AM on September 9, 2010


Shouldn't it be the Queen's English 50p?

Thirty-two pence at the current exchange rate.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:41 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there any more racist comedy than the "translation" of black people communicating into high diction Proper Anglo?

1965: Peter Sellers performs "A Hard Day's Night", in the style of Laurence Olivier's interpretation of Richard III.

Was that racist against Liverpudlians?

Also: 50 Pence, "In Da Pub".
posted by iviken at 2:39 AM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, this sits a bit uneasy with me as well. Plus, no matter how he's translated, he has little to say of interest.
posted by HuronBob at 2:47 AM on September 9, 2010


I get all you niggas killed fuck that. I dear you niggas touch him. Soulja say what ever you wantNiggas aint gone do shit
11:38 AM Sep 8th via ÜberTwitter

Becomes...

I will organise your collective assassination. I challenge your ability to hurt him. Soulja has the same view. You lack courage.
11:55 AM Sep 8th via web

That's just a straight-up translation, and I really can't see how it could be interpreted as racism; I interpret it as celebrating the diversity of English dialects. I'm sure Mr. Cent would agree. I might ask him to comment.
posted by Jimbob at 3:04 AM on September 9, 2010


Warm regards to my homosexual followers.

I found that pretty funny, fwiw.
posted by sveskemus at 3:25 AM on September 9, 2010


Was that racist against Liverpudlians?

Despite the efforts of certain newspapers to dehumanise them, last time I checked Scousers were not a race.
posted by mippy at 3:36 AM on September 9, 2010


So that makes Mefi favourite Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer racist too..?

Or is there a near total intersection of people who think this is racist & those that got their knickers in a twist about those college a cappella kids singing Bitches Ain't Shit?
posted by i_cola at 4:25 AM on September 9, 2010


Where this borders on the uncomfortable is some of these are faithful-to-the-meaning "translations" and some of them are literal-look-up-the-definition "translations." Which tweet gets which treatment seems to be cherry-picked for comedic effect; not sure that's very cool.
posted by maxwelton at 4:27 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should have put quotes around "comedic effect" as most fall pretty flat.
posted by maxwelton at 4:28 AM on September 9, 2010


This is racist because "black people don't speak real English" is the underlying joke.

It's probably possible to change the joke so it takes the piss at prescriptive linguists or something, but this feed seems to be content with the generic version.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:36 AM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is racist because "black people don't speak real English" is the underlying joke.

It does remind me of those occasional newspaper articles where a professor emeritus of poetry is asked to give his (and it is always 'his') verdict on whether various pop/rap lyrics constitute lyric. Personally, I'd really like to see Tim Westwood translated into English.
posted by mippy at 4:43 AM on September 9, 2010


Or is there a near total intersection of people who think this is racist & those that got their knickers in a twist about those college a cappella kids singing Bitches Ain't Shit?
I thought the problem with that was sexism. (Er, like whether Ben Folds was being sexist and the acapella girls were just mindlessly repeating his version. Or whatever)

Anyway, I saw this video of 50 cent on CNBC talking about investment strategy linked on Reddit. He made an enormous amount of money investing in some vitamin water thing that got sold to coke.

The redditors were saying it proved he was smart, although I didn't think that he said anything particularly insightful, only that he'd apparently become proficient in the art of vapid "business" pabulum.
posted by delmoi at 5:08 AM on September 9, 2010


Personally, I'd really like to see Tim Westwood translated into English.

What on earth's happened to Timothy?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:12 AM on September 9, 2010


I am just grateful that the contemporary prose stylings of Mr. Cent are being made available to a wider audience.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:28 AM on September 9, 2010


Ha! Mr B is reaching Gaga levels in these parts (although that vid was done by some BTEC music students for a project.)

This is racist because "black people don't speak real English" is the underlying joke.
Ah yes. Because 50 Cent is all black people.

I think the underlying joke is that there are lots of celebs/musicians/public figures that people like taking the piss out of but for anyone who holds a different view I am genuinely interested to know if, by the same token, Mr B is racist too.

Personally I think it works because most English speakers don't speak like the translation either...
posted by i_cola at 5:32 AM on September 9, 2010


Is there any more racist comedy than the "translation" of black people communicating into high diction Proper Anglo?

Oh, please, get over yourself. And stop trying so hard to find something to be offended about.
posted by kcds at 5:36 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


i_cola: "Ah yes. Because 50 Cent is all black people. "

If the person who made this feed wanted to make fun of 50 Cent in particular, they are doing an even worse job of that than they are of making this feed funny. The "humor" on display here would be just the same if done to any other black person's feed.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:44 AM on September 9, 2010


What might be funny would be to translate 50 Cent into Pilot Banter, if only any of us could follow it. Or to translate something with a lot of modern slang into an older slang.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:52 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Despite the efforts of certain newspapers to dehumanise them, last time I checked Scousers were not a race.

If the "N-word" is racist, what about the "G-word"? "Bloggers on whether MTV's 'guido' show is racist stereotype."

If Italian-Americans may be victims of racism, why not people from Liverpool?

"Anti-Scouse prejudice has got to stop. Why are we the last minority its ok to hate?
Racism. Homophobia. Misogyny. Xenophobia. Misandry. Anti-semitism. Islamophobia. Ableism. Classism.

The Irish Independent this time:

"Really, just when you think people can't get any more thin- skinned, stupid and prickly, you forget that God invented Scousers."
(...)

Referring back to this bile, entitled unashamedly 'Filthy Scouse scum':

Is there anything more tedious than a Scouser? The most obnoxious city in Europe is also the most smug, self-congratulatory and paranoid - actually, it's a bit like Cork with even more annoying accents. (...)

Why are none of these acceptable, and yet it's okay to show hate for a individual from Liverpool, simply because he was born in Liverpool? WHY.

I'm sick of it. It's demeening, it's hateful and it's upsetting. Replace the word 'scouse' with 'jew' or 'black' and this cretin would be in prison. I would complain but I'm a second class citizen. Has the writer forgotten the 'No blacks. No irish. No dogs' signs? It doesn't seem we've moved on. "


"Why I hate the 'S' word; Michael Starke tells Paddy Shennan why Liverpool should be a Scouser-free zone. (...)
He explains: "I don't like the word 'Scouser' because I feel it's often used in a slightly derogatory way. I'm trying to use it less."

"Housing officer in Facebook 'Scouse' slur. (...)
He also sent Mr Morgan a letter complaining about the noise his children made by playing ball games. In response, Mr Morgan updated his facebook status, describing Mr Porter, who is from Liverpool, as a ‘t******* Scouse b******’."

And, from the Liverpool Echo blog:
"Also, I personally hate the term Scouser and never use it to describe anyone from the city. It's a horrible word, and as Keith suggests, doesn't have very helpful connotations."
posted by iviken at 5:52 AM on September 9, 2010


I don't know if I'd go so far as to call this racist. Lame, yes. Tiresome, yes. "Black people talk like this, and white people talk like this. Amirite?"

This type of faux-anthropological let me show you how x-group is the other tripe is extremely played out and was never very entertaining in the first place.
posted by anansi at 5:55 AM on September 9, 2010


The "humor" on display here would be just the same if done to any other black person's feed.

Really?
posted by Splunge at 5:56 AM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ah, no. Not really. Because not all black people tweet like that.

Fair cop. Sorry.

The humor would be the same done to any other feed written in a non-Anglo dialect of English.

And it would still only be funny if you thought that non-Anglo English were wrong somehow.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:02 AM on September 9, 2010


For me it's more language-based humour. We live in an age where language and communication are changing so much. Making jokes about (teen) text-speak, Internet-speak (e.g. all the TLAs, L33t etc.), Tweet-speak are all part of it.

When I go to the US should I now start getting offended when USians start mimicking by English accent because they're being all xenophobic now?

Maybe the difference is because I'm English and language-based humour is such a massive part of our culture?
posted by i_cola at 6:11 AM on September 9, 2010


Oh, and just for the record, I'd like to point out that the vast majority of English people do not speak like Hugh Grant & Simon Cowell. Or your favourite film/TV show's evil villain.
posted by i_cola at 6:13 AM on September 9, 2010


Anyway, I saw this video of 50 cent on CNBC talking about investment strategy linked on Reddit. He made an enormous amount of money investing in some vitamin water thing that got sold to coke.

The redditors were saying it proved he was smart, although I didn't think that he said anything particularly insightful, only that he'd apparently become proficient in the art of vapid "business" pabulum.


That's the "articulate" thing. A non-Black person being complimentary about a Black person's ability to use grammatical English is supposed to be evidence of being open-minded or something. I think they generally don't realize that it's racist and not a compliment at all.

And geez, I didn't realize how trite Fiddy's lyrics are.

People really need to stop with this unfunny joke....or die trying.

QTF.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:15 AM on September 9, 2010


Oh crap, make that "QFT"
posted by fuse theorem at 6:16 AM on September 9, 2010


Oh, I think it's fine to joke about it. We just happen to be speaking in a context where lots of people have actually said that black people don't speak real English, and professors emeritus of poetry have judged that rap lyrics don't constitute poetry.

So a joke that would otherwise just be weak becomes weak with racial overtones.

If you tell the same joke based on the lyrics of specific pop songs, then you're just saying that pop songs have stupid lyrics, which doesn't have the same problem.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:16 AM on September 9, 2010


I always assumed 50c twitter feed was done by some intern in a PR company anyway.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:19 AM on September 9, 2010


Is there any more racist comedy than the "translation" of black people communicating into high diction Proper Anglo?

posted by damehex at 7:01 AM on September 9


Well, the assumption that ribbing someone for their poor use of language must necessarily involve racism if they happen to be non-white is certainly rather dubious, in my opinion. See also this comment which underlines the point.
posted by Decani at 6:21 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lily Allen: Nan You're A Window Shopper
posted by i_cola at 6:33 AM on September 9, 2010


I've been following this for a few days now. The humour to me came from the 35 year old multimillionaire tweeting like a 14 year old idiot. I mean, not the language used: ever heard of a comma, dude?
posted by dudekiller at 6:36 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I get all you niggas killed fuck that. I dear you niggas touch him. Soulja say what ever you wantNiggas aint gone do shit
11:38 AM Sep 8th via ÜberTwitter

Becomes...

I will organise your collective assassination. I challenge your ability to hurt him. Soulja has the same view. You lack courage.
11:55 AM Sep 8th via web

That's just a straight-up translation


No, it's straight-up wrong. "Soulja say what ever you want" does not translate to "Soulja has the same view." It means "Soulja, speak freely without regard for others' opinions of you." Or more concisely, "say whatever you want."
posted by desjardins at 6:44 AM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, it's straight-up wrong.

Whatever you want.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:29 AM on September 9, 2010


50Cent is fair game, because he's such a buffoon.

For example see this review of a 50 Cent game, by Charlie Brooker
posted by DanCall at 7:39 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


iviken, I'd be the first to argue that Scouse-bashing is an acceptable prejudice, adn wrong in that. Witness all the hubcap and shell-suit jokes, despite that neither has been seen for about 20 years. However, comparing a prejudice based on accent and socio-economic background to one based on skin colour is rather like comparing oranges and tangerines. One isn't better than the other, but they are not the same thing.
posted by mippy at 8:20 AM on September 9, 2010


Also, the Cook cover of Hard Days Night was different - it was same vernacular, different accent. The Beatles sung Merseybeat, but they weren't as boldly Liverpudlian as, say, Jegsy Dodd. Their idiom was rock'n'roll, a language influenced more by US culture than local culture at the beginning.

This, however, is straight BEV to English translation, and does come across as a bit 'look what the funny coloured man is saying'.
posted by mippy at 8:23 AM on September 9, 2010


However, comparing a prejudice based on accent and socio-economic background to one based on skin colour is rather like comparing oranges and tangerines. One isn't better than the other, but they are not the same thing.

So making fun of orange fruits is... what? I'm confused.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:06 AM on September 9, 2010


So, just so I don't make a cultural faux pas, can you all clarify something for me?

I'm planning to do a twitter account that translates Eminem lyrics into 14th Century Italian lyric poetry. Would that be racist? I don't want to offend anyone (other than Eminem, Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, of course).
posted by The World Famous at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2010


So making fun of orange fruits is... what? I'm confused.

It's called 'Jersey Shore'.
posted by komara at 9:55 AM on September 9, 2010


Well, the assumption that ribbing someone for their poor use of language must necessarily involve racism if they happen to be non-white is certainly rather dubious, in my opinion.

Yeah, this. 50 Cent writes like a 12 year old boy despite being a 30-something millionaire - translating his writing into more formal English would be funny* even if he didn't use black slang.

*depending on your definition of funny
posted by ripley_ at 10:27 AM on September 9, 2010


Yeah none of you are getting it. The guy isn't translating it into formal english, he's translating it for English people, deliberately badly. Note the references to UK specific stuff like Battersea Dog's Home.
posted by w0mbat at 11:54 AM on September 9, 2010


What if the original 50 tweets are an ironic send up of the hip hop/rap genre as a whole and 50 understands that people are shallow creatures that really think he talks like that? And then some jerk takes him seriously and does this translation thing.

Who's laughing now?
posted by Splunge at 2:24 PM on September 9, 2010


Courtney Love to English would, of course, be impossible.
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on September 9, 2010


Well I expected to find 50's tweets incomprehensible, but they made sense to me.

I had a good time today ladies and gentlemen I hope you enjoyed yourselves too I will not be on twitter again till sept 13. Goodnight

Speaking of MILF. I wanna do something that impact kids in a positive way, thats why im opening an abortion clinic. Ima call it 50/50 chance

I realy like confident women that know what they want out of life.I don't like self centered people

Now, someone who uses so much slang (which is not the same as Black English) that I cannot understand what he is saying is Desean Jackson, WR for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also has a twitter dedicated to "interpreting" his tweets.

Oh you know what nevermind. I was sure I couldn't understand him, but maybe that's because I first saw his tweets in the context of a forum making fun of him for being incomprehensible. Maybe in that context I was predisposed to misunderstand him. Because when I look at his twitter I see slang-heavy tweets (still much moreso than 50) but they do make sense to me. Still, if anyone fits the stereotype it would be him:

@D_Stallworth18 what it do bro u out there ball'n doin ya stuff

" I'm feel'n my self " " I'm feel'n my self" I'm sooo fresh & I can't help it And when they see me they like yaaah'..

I'm all the way turnt up... And my douggie clean...

posted by Danila at 4:32 PM on September 9, 2010


It looks like stopped translating 50's tweets into English after this tweet. I wonder if legal action was threatened?
posted by kate blank at 7:22 PM on September 9, 2010


And now they're in... Latin? Is it one of you guys? Someone reading this thread?
posted by Eideteker at 8:38 PM on September 9, 2010


RE: whoever asked, I do not think Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer's work is racist. He is rapping his own raps and covering others in his own cadence without rewriting them. You can discuss him and race and find things that are complicated, if you like discussing those things! I won't stop you. But he raises no hackles here.

All I meant was that this specific UNSINKABLE FUCKING COMEDY IDEA of lampooning the english usage of lots of black people by translating it into double extra upright anglo english is super tired. Also racist.

I am glad so many ppl in the thread fleshed out that obvious fact about this twitter feed! Cheers.
posted by damehex at 5:21 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sadly this tweet does not seem to have been translated.
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on September 13, 2010


I prefer Geek50Cent.
posted by w0mbat at 10:51 PM on September 16, 2010


« Older Here at Cereal Marshmallows Our Goal is to Deliver...  |  A snippet of the full intervie... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments