I hope you’re ready to waste some time doing something really, really stupid, because that’s what’s about to happen. See, there’s a way you can get Google Translate’s speech synthesis system to do impressions of what sounds almost exactly like an old car trying desperately to start. And, by selecting different languages, you can make it sound like different old, shitty cars. It’s so stupid and fun and you know you’re going to try it.

I learned this was possible from this random YouTube video:

I enjoyed that far more than any home-owning, job-holding, parent-of-a-human-child should. But there it is. Then I realized that by using the same, carefully-crafted series of a single consonant in Google Translate and changing the language settings, you can make it sound like all sorts of cars trying to start.

Here, copy and paste this into Google Translate:

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv. vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv. vvvvvv.

Now, use the pull-down menu to try some languages, and hit the speaker icon to hear it.

Advertisement

English works pretty well, but I think French works better. German gives a very different sort of car, and Italian is pretty good. I can imagine a little Fiat, easily. Latvian is totally different, too, maybe a bit bigger of an engine, with a worse battery.

Try out a bunch! It’s strangely engaging!