Can someone translate this bizarre, maybe Chinese-language voicemail?
April 15, 2016 7:31 PM   Subscribe

The other day I was lying in bed and my cell phone started ringing. Caller ID showed an out-of-town area code. I picked up, heard a low voice murmuring in an unfamiliar language, and hung up. A few seconds later, my phone rang again. Same number, same murmur, another hangup. Then, a third ring. This time I let it go to voicemail. Then there was another ring, and another voicemail. These voicemails are SO WEIRD.

They're in an Asian language that I can't identify, but which sounds to me like some dialect of Chinese. That's not the odd thing about them, though. The odd thing is that they seem not to be a person speaking, but rather pre-recorded snippets that have been edited into some kind of audio montage. It's like sound art. But I can't understand a word of it.

What if it's my future girlfriend trying to contact me? Or Chinese intelligence trying to warn me about an impending attempt on my life?

I must know! Can someone take a listen and translate for me? Or, even if you can't translate, just listen and give me your best theories about what's going on here:

Weird voicemail one

Weird voicemail two
posted by AAAA to Writing & Language (10 answers total)
 
Where are you? I'm in Hong Kong and I get calls fairly frequently which sound like this. They're telemarketing ads.
posted by frumiousb at 7:36 PM on April 15, 2016


(By "sound like this" I mean with the tone and the snippets.)
posted by frumiousb at 7:37 PM on April 15, 2016


I'm in English-speaking Canada, and this call came from the U.S. I've never had one like it before, nor heard of anyone getting one.
posted by AAAA at 7:38 PM on April 15, 2016


Definitely odd.
posted by frumiousb at 7:40 PM on April 15, 2016


It's Chinese but my Chinese isn't good enough to catch most of it through the poor audio quality. It does sound like a lot of return phone numbers being given (the same number, multiple times).
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:43 PM on April 15, 2016


It's Mandarin. Both messages are pretty much the same.The first part is a woman repeating, "What do you need help with?" over and over and then she says something like, "there's no sound,if you need any help, call back." The second part is a recording asking you to rate the service. "Press one for satisfied, two for unsatisfied."

I may have missed some details.

No idea what it's about. Maybe the customer service representative has to say that even on a voicemail? Maybe they have targeted you as Chinese-speaking for some reason.
posted by bearette at 7:45 PM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am sad that this wasn't the start of my own personal Hitchcock-style spy adventure, but I thank you all the same.
posted by AAAA at 7:48 PM on April 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


I've actually gotten similar kinds of calls in English. Like some call center wires get crossed and my phone gets called but I get connected to someone who thinks they are answering an incoming call.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:04 PM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


All these explanations sound more like spam robot autodialer calls rather than a mistake. As always, to reduce spam calls, just let numbers you don't know go to voice mail.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 8:35 PM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've actually gotten similar kinds of calls in English. Like some call center wires get crossed and my phone gets called but I get connected to someone who thinks they are answering an incoming call.

I work in a call centre and this is almost certainly what happened
posted by EmGeeJay at 11:26 PM on April 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


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