De los mensajes que la máquina encripta sale un galimatías.

galimatías [noun, m] – gibberish

My hubby and I went to see The Imitation Game last night at the cinema. Fabulous film. I highly recommend it. And before you ask, of course I wouldn’t go to see it dubbed (no way José, and I know you feel the same, fellow language nerd). We watched it in English with Spanish subtitles – the only way, amigo mío.

For those that haven’t come across the film yet, it’s about the life and work of Alan Turing, the genius mathmetician and computer science pioneer, whose face should be on bank notes, statues in squares, and school text books everywhere but has, unpardonably, been largely blotted from the history books until fairly recently.

And so to our word: galimatías. In the film, it is 1939 and war has just broken out. Turing has just begun working at Bletchley Park, the UK’s codebreaking centre, where he has joined a team of young prodigies (including a couple of language geeks, how exciting!!), whose goal is to decipher the Enigma code the Germans are using in their military operations. The boss, Commander Denniston, is explaining to the team of new recruits how the Enigma machine works:

The German navy encodes every message they send using the Enigma machine. The details of every surprise attack, of every secret convoy, of every U-Boat in the bloody Atlantic go into that thing, and out comes… Gibberish.

I’ve looked all over t’internet, and haven’t been able to locate the official Spanish subtitles, but basically off the top of my head the translation went something like this:

La armada alemana encripta cada mensaje que envía, utilizando la maquina Enigma. Los detalles de cada ataque sorpresa, cada convoy secreto, cada submarino en el Océano Atlántico entran por esa máquina, y salen… galimatías.

Ta daaaa!! Good word, innit?!

PS – If you do decide to watch the film, be sure to have a packet of tissues nearby if you’re anything like me. I may or may not have been audibly sobbing at one point, I’m such a softie.

PPS – I realized as I hit the “post” button that I’d chalked this one up as a feminine plural noun, which is wrong. Sorry about that. I checked it on the online dictionaries and it’s definitely singular and masculine. Alejandro helped me change the photo caption to include “un galimatías” to make this clearer. I also found a good example of its usage from the Word Reference online dictionary: “Explícate mejor, no entiendo ese galimatías” (Explain yourself better, I don’t understand that gibberish). Ahem. Yes, quite.


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