Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Using Google Translate to Obfuscate

Here's a little trick you can use to slightly obfuscate notes, journals, or any text that PCs might find in another language.

  • Paste the text of into Google Translate
  • Pick a foreign language and translate it
  • Copy the translated text and paste it back in
  • Translate this back to your native language
The resulting text will contain cool little quirks that will lend it an exotic and non-human feel.  Perfect for that note that the PCs find written by the Orc commander.


Here's a note that the PCs in my D&D Next campaign might find:

My Lord,
We secured site.
Tenants under control.
Glaragula located book.
Magic stone is here, funnels power.
Ritual maybe only works here.
Many living dead ones still here.
We made four already.

I translated this to Arabic, and then the Arabic back to English, and this is what I now have to give to the players:

We are securing the site.
Tenants under control.
The book is Glaragula.
Magic Stone is here, and the entrances to power.
Rituals may only work here.
Many of the dead who live here so far.
We made four already.

The gist is the same, but somewhat less clear.  Imperfect information.  Translation errors.  Great stuff!


  1. Oh, I came to ask "what's up with DMMuse?", and that translator trick is exactly what I need in my campaign. Thanks.
    But, seriously, what's up with DMMuse?

  2. Hey Rorsharchhamster - DMMuse is alive and kicking, what specificially were you wondering about?

    1. Nevermind, the problem was on my side here, some strange problems with connectivity (router? provider? still don't know...)led me to believe the site was down.