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Multilingual Telephone

Telephone game + sequential translation
  [vote for,

This is the classic party game "Telephone" (or "Chinese Whispers") where instead of whispering the message to the next player to keep others from hearing it, players say it in different languages. Obviously, players must be multilingual, and their languages must overlap such that there can be a chain of languages through the players.

For example, player one speaks English and Russian, player two speaks Russian and Arabic, player three speaks Arabic, Farsi, and Spanish, and player four speaks Spanish and English. The message is translated from English to Russian, then from Russian to Arabic, then from Arabic to Spanish, and finally from Spanish back to English.

Actually, it would be better if all players speak some common language (English in the example) in addition to their individual languages, so that they can understand how the message changes from beginning to end. You'd still need whispering when the message's current language is understood by players other than the one you're passing it to.

To increase or decrease—I'm not sure—the mutation rate, allow discussion between each pair of players so that the meaning of the message is passed more accurately. On one hand, this reduces mutation by mishearing, but on the other, I think it could encourage mutation through interpretive translation.

notexactly, Nov 30 2015


       So why did player three need to speak Farsi if he was the only one :)   


       I like the idea about allowing conversation. That always bothered me about the normal telephone game. It is supposed to illustrate how fast information is corrupted when rumors are passed around, but with rumors, they are normally discussed and clarified. When a message is said one time in a whisper, I suspect it is often lost due to simple non-clarity. I also sometimes suspect that one player changed the message on purpose just to be funny.   

       Telephone (or this game) really should be played as a competition between two teams to see which transmits the message most accurately. There should also be a speed component. Judging whether the result is "accurate enough" might be tricky. Maybe have the final person write down the message as they heard it, then choose from a multiple choice list of 7 messages that are similar to the original. Each of the choices can have a score, so messages with close to the same meaning are more favorable. That way a team that gets the correct answer can still lose if the other team gets an answer with nearly the same meaning in much less time.
scad mientist, Dec 01 2015

       I like that competition idea.
notexactly, Dec 02 2015


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