Posted by: patenttranslator | May 20, 2013

My Three Hundred and Thirty Third Post in Three Years Three Months and Three Days

Well, I am not sure about the three days, but everything else in the title of this historic post is true.

I am pretty sure that 333 is some kind of a magic number since it is exactly a half of 666, which as everybody knows is the Devil’s number, and 3 x 333 is almost a thousand, which is a lot.

There is a Czech tongue twister which goes like this: Třista třiatřicet stříbrných stříkaček stříkalo přes třista třiatřicet stříbrných střech. It means “Three hundred and thirty three silver water cannons were squirting over three hundred and thirty three silver roofs”.

The sentence does not really mean what it says (although it is kind of interesting to try to visualize it), it is more like the English sentence containing all the letters of the English alphabet (the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog), which is also fun to visualize, but possibly not as much as the Czech one. The English sentence is used to practice typing, and the Czech sentence is used to test foreigners’ pronunciation of Czech. If you paste it into Google translate and then click on the speaker icon, you will see why: it has the unpronounceable sound ř in 12 positions which no foreigner can possibly pronounce, at least not in these positions.

Google translate says that “stříkaček” means “syringes”, but trust me, it means water cannons, because “syringes” would be “injekce” in Czech. Besides, no syringe could possibly squirt over even a single silver roof, let alone three hundred and thirty three of them, which would make the tongue twister kind of defective.

If you click on the speaker icon in the English translation, you will be able to appreciate the difference not only between the different sounds of both languages, but also between the different attitudes of the Czech and the American woman who recorded these words.

The Czech woman sounds highly concentrated on the job at hand and kind of nervous and pedantic, like an old schoolmarm. The American woman sounds more like she is in a hurry to finish the damn job and get paid. But she probably sounds that way because it is not a tongue twister in English.

Also, it so happens that I usually try to make at least 333 dollars a day when I am translating, even at my non-rush rate, and even when I am not translating the whole day, as was the case today. I have days when I feel lazy, and if I can make 333 bucks on a lazy day while spending most of my time reading a book and watching me a little teevee, I picked a pretty good job for myself, wouldn’t you say?

If I write another 333 posts about translation (although many would say that they are mostly about nothing), it will be the number which corresponds to “the mark of Beast”, mentioned in the Bible, Revelation, 13:16-18.

With such an interesting number, it should be an interesting post, but you would have to stick around for quite a while to be able to read it, and it is probably not going to be worth it.

Another 333 silly posts after the number of “the mark of the Best” would then make it post number 999, and the next number would be the magic number 1000, which is a pretty solid number when it comes to number of blog posts that most people have.

Will my blog last that long? Who knows? Will I last that long? Who knows ……..

But thanks to my desire to entertain the world and in particular you, my dear readers and commenters, this blog did last the first 333 posts, which were almost entirely troll-free and quite enjoyable.

Onward and upward, sic itur ad astra (“thus one goes to the stars”), etc., and so on and so forth.

I am now ending this post while visualizing three hundred and thirty three silver water cannons squirting over three hundred and thirty three silver roofs.


  1. 333 is on its way to double & tripple.

    When it doubles, it becomes devilish. But you must pass the code for Pearl Harbor first – Tora! Tora! Tora!

    When it tripples, it comes to the lucky number for East Asians. And I am sure that you keep on and up to 999, longevity. Genau heisst es, drei Mal hoch!


  2. Hey, Wenjer, I thought you were on vacation or something.

    And thanks so much for your wishes of 999 posts and longevity!


    • Yes, I’ll be on my way via Tokyo tomorrow.

      I did a training of the use of a specific tool for some new employees at an end client’s yesterday. I found out that many people do not understand the use and contraints of such tools.

      The most funniest is that people believe, the tools can take over the work of translator. I guess that’s the fault of tool makers. They have been doing their marketing in a wrong way.

      A translator translates and the tool helps maintaining consistency only. (I know, some people don’t need such a help. They have their own systems.) The machine can never take over the work of a translator and that’s why we shall be paid decently.

      Now, I will be off for two weeks.


  3. Congratulations, Steve, on reaching 333 posts! One of the things I appreciate about your blog is that you manage to combine serious reflections on the business of translation with humour, often (but not always) in the same post. Here’s to the next 333!


  4. Thanks, Rob.

    And here’s to the 333 typos that I will hopefully catch in my posts before you do that!


    • I do confess that I get a bit of a thrill out of finding typos (and other mistakes) in other people’s writing. Is that very sad? It’s probably indicative of some deep psychological and/or emotional flaw…


  5. Yes, I know what you mean, I feel the same way when I am able to do the same on other people’s blogs.

    Since there are so few other pleasures that we can still experience, let’s be glad and grateful for what we have.


    • Lol, good answer 🙂


  6. […] Well, I am not sure about the three days, but everything else in the title of this historic post is true. I am pretty sure that 333 is some kind of a magic number since it is exactly a half of 666,…  […]


  7. Generally the number 3 is considered as a magic number.


    • So is number 7 (in China and other countries), number 12, and a few other numbers.

      But the real magic number, unattainable to most people, is number 0, as in 0 debt.


  8. Congratulation on reaching the magical half-beasty number. Some posts have become a classic. Who would forget zombie translators – or zombie agencies? I come here regularly (even if I don’t comment), just for a bit of wisdom from trenches, and a reminder that we can do what we do and still maintain some self-respect and sense of humor. So here is to next 999 at least (raising a virtual glass of Argentinian Malbec Bodega Elena de Mendoza) and thank you – moc děkuji, Steve!


    • How did you know that this is the Argentinian wine that I have been drinking recently, Anna S?

      I am going to check and see if there are any tiny drones armed (for the time being) with a camera hovering outside my windows, and then I will go and buy me some wine.


  9. Hey – you said you are drinking Argentinian wines in the Good Life post! (Well, it’s one a few Argentinian wines I know.) But I would check for those drones anyway.


  10. ウェディングドレス 写真


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