Lost in the Translation : the answers

The two remembered mistranslated titles that started this thread, the Hal Clement and the Roger Zelazny, make me think the original inspiration may have been a competition in April 1977 edition of Fantasy and Science Fiction (reprinted in Oi Robot), which has them inslightly different forms, as A Serious Undertaking, and He Has A Hole in His Head, and His Teeth Glow in the Dark, respectively. The same competition also gives The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth with the note “research has failed to reveal the original of this obvious double translation”.

These titles are spoof translations, but some fun can also generated with the Babelfish translation system. I’ve included some of the better ones here, too. (I’m surprised at how often the Babelfish translations are ungrammatical – it must use a very simple word substitution algorithm. But I’m also surprised at how often it manages to reproduce the exact title – more often via German than via French, it must be said.)

So, the answers to the Lost in Translation quiz

Isaac Asimov

Iain M. Banks

John Barnes

Alfred Bester

Ray Bradbury

David Brin

John Brunner

Algis Budrys

Lois McMaster Bujold

Orson Scott Card

Raphael Carter

C. J. Cherryh

Arthur C. Clarke

Hal Clement

Pamela Dean

Samuel R. Delany

Stephen Donaldson

Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald

Umberto Eco

Greg Egan

Harlan Ellison

Harry Harrison

Robert A. Heinlein

Frank Herbert

James P. Hogan

Norton Juster

Stephen King

Nancy Kress

Ursula K. LeGuin

Fritz Leiber

Jonathan Lethem

H. P. Lovecraft

George R.R. Martin

Julian May

Ian McDonald

Robin McKinley

Larry Niven

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

George Orwell

H. Beam Piper

Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth

Terry Pratchett

Christopher Priest

Spider Robinson

Robert Silverberg

Norman Spinrad

Neil Stephenson

Sheri S. Tepper

James Tiptree, Jr.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Jules Verne

Vernor Vinge

Lawrence Watt-Evans

Walter Jon Williams

Connie Willis

Roger Zelazny