Quick Translation Help with European Languages for a Balloon Project?
February 16, 2011 8:51 PM   Subscribe

I need to know how to write "Hello! I'm HARMLESS!" in every language from Norway to North Africa! Want to help? My friends are sending a robot balloon across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, and I'm designing a label for it tonight. Sound fun? I'd also love to have a couple of sentences about the project translated into French, German, and Spanish.

Here's the full message that I'd like to print in English, French, German, and Spanish:

"Hello! I'm HARMLESS! This robot balloon was sent across the ocean, in the spirit of adventure and civilian scientific exploration, by WHITE STAR BALLOONS, from Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States of America. http://whitestarballoon.com/"

And if you know how to say "Hello! I'm HARMLESS!" in any European or North African language, here is your chance to shine!

Thanks Metafilter!
posted by sunnichka to Writing & Language (26 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hallo! Ich bin HARMLESS! Dieser Roboter Ballon wurde von WHITE STAR BALLOONS aus Louisville, Kentucky, in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika im Geiste des Abenteuers und der zivilen wissenschaftlichen Forschung über den Ozean geschickt. http://whitestarballoon.com/

If HARMLESS is not the name of the balloon replace it with HARMLOS.
posted by jfricke at 9:14 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was German
posted by jfricke at 9:15 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the Google translate version of the English-to-French translation
posted by dfriedman at 9:20 PM on February 16, 2011


In Hungarian: "Jó napot! Ártalmatlan vagyok!"

alternately - "Ez a tárgy nem veszélyes." (lit -This object is not dangerous) - this sounds less like a manic cyborg trying to convince a suspicious human of its good intentions.
posted by that possible maker of pork sausages at 9:24 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hallå! Jag är inte farlig!

Swedish.
posted by gemmy at 9:30 PM on February 16, 2011


Здравейте, аз съм безобиден! in Bulgarian.
posted by halogen at 9:49 PM on February 16, 2011


Spanish:
¡Hola! ¡Soy HARMLESS! Este robo-globo fue enviado a través del oceano, con gran espíritu de aventura y exploración científico civil, por WHITE STAR BALLOONS, de Louisville, Kentucky, en los Estados Unidos de América.
Along the same lines as jfricke, use "INOFENSIVO" instead of "HARMLESS" if it's not the name of the balloon. "Robo-globo" isn't an established term but I think it fits ("globo" = "balloon").
posted by pmdboi at 10:13 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


in Danish (after collaboration with SO), use as much, or as little, of the text as you need.

"Hej! Jeg er HARMLØS! Denne robot-ballon blev sendt over havet i eventyrets og den offentlig videnskabelig forsknings ånd af WHITE STAR BALLOONS fra Louisville, Kentucky i USA. http://whitestarballoon.com "
posted by alchemist at 12:19 AM on February 17, 2011


For swedish, the suggested Hallå! Jag är inte farlig! is literally "Hello, I am not dangerous". Better is:

Hallå! Jag är harmlös!, literally "Hello! I am harmless!"
posted by beerbajay at 1:11 AM on February 17, 2011


French:

"Salut! Je suis « HARMLESS » (inoffensif)! Ce ballon robot s'est envoyé à travers la mer, dans l'esprit d'aventure et d'exploration civile et scientifique, par « WHITE STAR BALLOONS » (des balons en étoiles blanches), à partir de Louisville, de l'état Kentucky aux États Unis d'Amérique. http://whitestarballoon.com"

Wow, I added very little value to the Google version.
posted by solotoro at 1:24 AM on February 17, 2011


For the French, "inoffensif" means "inoffensive" or "innocent" so that doesn't really convey what the OP is saying.

"nuisible" would work better... Je suis pas nuisible = I am not harmful.
posted by amyms at 3:33 AM on February 17, 2011


Ugh, change that to "Je ne suis pas nuisible."

Je ne suis pas nuisible = I am not harmful.
posted by amyms at 3:39 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Persian, should a strong wind take your balloon to Iran or Afghanistan:
سلام, بی ضرر هستم!
posted by Gordafarin at 3:49 AM on February 17, 2011


Slovenian: "Živjo! Nisem nevaren!" (I'm not dangerous) or "Živjo! Sem HARMLESS." (If it's the name of the balloon)

Croatian: "Bok! Ja sam bezopasan!" (or "Ja sam Bezopasan." if Harmless is the name.)

Italian: "Ciao! Non sono pericoloso." (I'm not dangerous) or "Ciao! Sono innocuo." (I'm harmless.)
posted by gakiko at 3:55 AM on February 17, 2011


Turkish: Merhaba! Zararsızım!
posted by Theiform at 5:32 AM on February 17, 2011


French: Bonjour! Je ne suis pas dangereux. Ce ballon robotisé a été envoyé de l'autre coté de l'océan, dans l'esprit de l'aventure et de l'exploration scientifique chez le peuple, par WHITE STAR BALLOONS, de Louisville, Kentucky, aux États-Unis.

Switch in "Salut!" for "Bonjour" if you want to be more casual/conversational.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:38 AM on February 17, 2011


Oops, there's already a (probably better) French translation up there. Tant pis!
posted by oinopaponton at 5:40 AM on February 17, 2011


Brazilian portuguese FWIW:

Olá! Eu sou INOFENSIVO! Este balão robô foi enviado através do oceano, num espírito de aventura e exploração científica civil, por WHITE STAR BALLOONS, de Louisville, Kentucky, nos Estados Unidos da América.
posted by Tom-B at 6:07 AM on February 17, 2011


In case it crosses the Mediterranean , here is hebrew:

שלום, אני לא מזיק! הבלון הרובוטי הזה נשלח מעבר לים ברוח ההרפתקנות ומחקר מדעי אזרחי מלויויל קונטקי בארה"ב ע"י
WHITE STAR BALLOONS, http://whitestarballoon.com/
posted by blueyellow at 6:20 AM on February 17, 2011


For the French, "inoffensif" means "inoffensive" or "innocent" so that doesn't really convey what the OP is saying.

"nuisible" would work better... Je suis pas nuisible = I am not harmful.


Wikitionnaire defines "inoffensif" as "Qui n'est pas dangereux, qui ne fait pas de mal" (That which is not dangerous, does not do any harm). That the way I understand the word too. In the context, it seems like the perfect translation of harmless (that which causes no harm), stating clearly what it is, not what it is not
posted by bluefrog at 8:02 AM on February 17, 2011


Albanian: Nuk jam i rrezikshëm = I am not dangerous
Nuk jam i dëmshëm = I am not harmful
posted by preparat at 8:21 AM on February 17, 2011


Ello-hay!
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:36 AM on February 17, 2011


Finnish:

"Hei! Olen harmiton!"

The above means harmless, but if you want to go for 'not dangerous' replace 'harmiton' with 'vaaraton'.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:01 AM on February 17, 2011


Wikitionnaire defines "inoffensif" as "Qui n'est pas dangereux, qui ne fait pas de mal" (That which is not dangerous, does not do any harm).

You're right, bluefrog. My apologies to solotoro. I thought it was too mild a word to use, but after reading your post and digging around a little, I realize I was mistaken.

I'm curious now, though, is there a universal symbol for "harmless"? If not, there should be.
posted by amyms at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2011


THANK YOU EVERYONE! This is great!
posted by sunnichka at 8:40 PM on February 18, 2011


In the German version it should read "Roboterballon" instead of "Roboter Ballon".
posted by Glow Bucket at 7:03 AM on March 3, 2011


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