Day 5 (through weekend): Pursuing the ideas further

By Hannu Aarniala — 


Idea 2) “Engrichen” > “Engricher” Edit: I came to the conclusion that this is a more suitable name.

As you can see I’ve come up with a name to my second idea (no thanks to flowerewolf) and it seems I’ve somewhat – if not abandoned, then at least – put my first idea to the freezer. It would be too hard to program the NodeBox to actually analyze an image and find some words or recognisable patterns in it. It would be nice to study cold reading and what makes people find meanings in random shapes, but I think there are brighter minds researching that area. Anyway, I feel more interested in completing my second idea now.

Engricher would be a visual engrish generator. There are few in the web but it seems they are all only text based:


English to Engrish – this one uses the babelfish translator (like the name implies), through which it recycles the input text. What makes this one really interesting is that it also displays the Japanese word and the process how it got to the end result. Funny, this is probably how many engrishness comes to be: somebody at the other end is using Babelfish or Google translator.

The Engrish Generator – Figures out a name for your invented product and “transrates” a slogan for it. You can also choose a product category from a list. This feature is interesting, but you can’t really see how all of this works so it could just generate them from a list of phrases randomly or whatever. No points for the visual outlook either. Be warned: The site also hosts some irritating pop-ups.

The Uber Engrish Generator – The name promises a lot but the end result is not quite up for it. After we have seen the fairly embarrasing intro and reach the actual application we still have to listen to the annoying music in the background. What is nice though, is the possibility to choose from a multiple languages. Even dutch! This produces not so interesting results, however. It seems that one of the key ingredients of engrish is a different written language system.

So how would The Engricher differ from these? Well, it would produce a visual outlook that is not only text based. By using a image library, it would generate, for instance, t-shirt designs that could be straight from the shelf of a clothing store in japan. The user could adjust the engrishness through variables: the more engriched, the more “cultural divide noise” would appear. This means the amount of randomness what comes to the relation of the text and images, the possibility of grammatical and typing errors in english language, etc. The above would be created in NodeBox by using lists, variables, an image library, and possibly an imported .xml-file.


List of things to do, learn and study:

Basically The Engricher could be produced with Nodebox very simply, while it still stays true to it’s core idea. Only one slider that would control the “engrichness” could suffice. However, the NodeBox offers numerous possibilies and features that would be interesting to put in use. For example: Many of the engrish generators use online translating services to recycle the input text through them while referencing to their Japanese and English dictionaries. This feature could also be used in my app -> NodeBox could cycle the inputted text through a web translator and start playing around with the retrieved words.

The possibilies and features that could be added are numerous. However, while taking some time off from coding and computers in the weekend I realized something: The possibilities of NodeBox inspire and excite me but I’m a graphic designer, not a programmer. I should stick to what I know and what interests me the most. If I forget this I’m afraid that I try too much and do not get anything done. That’s why I should plan thoroughly what to do next and just create something that works. For probably that’s all that I have time for anyway. And immediately when it starts to feel that it just doesn’t work despite of everything, switch to plan B.

And remember to wear sunscreen and sleep well. Which is what I’m going to do now.