Another one for fans of Star Trek. Or of Inkscape’s sand texture. Or of the sort of bureaucracy that leads to long pointless meetings which never actually achieve anything.

Anyone who has ever read an automatically translated web page will know that we’ve got some way to go before we produce anything close to Star Trek’s Universal Translator. Ultimately the Universal Translator is just a sophisticated computer running a complex piece of code, and so could be subject to the same bugs and programmer whims as any other software. This raises the question of how closely “Live long and prosper” matches the original Vulcan. Perhaps the Vulcans are happily telling each other to “Grow old and wealthy”, but Star Fleet have their Universal Translators configured with the pomposity setting at maximum.

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↓ Transcript
(Scene: A group of Vulcan elders talking to one another)

G1: So we're agreed then - to celebrate the creation of a united Vulcan we need an inspiring motto to be used by the whole race

G1: And we've agreed that, in principle, it should be a wish for long and prosperous life.

G1: So now we just need to get the actual wording correct

G2: How about "Hope you die old and rich"

G3: No, we need to focus on them not dying: "Hope you don't die young or poor"

G1: I think we should steer clear of dying altogether.

G2: Okay then, "May you live to collect a large pension"

G3: "May you never grow dependent on your children"

G1: No, no. They just don't sound right. There's got to be some better way to wish that someone will live long and prosper, but I just can't think of it.