Alien Translator

(the one where players speak and translate gibberish)

In this game for performance, one person plays an alien or foreigner who can speak only in gibberish while a second player translates each line. Since this is more of an improv skill or trick than a structured game, it can be used in a variety of ways. Classic scenarios include giving a lecture, answering questions as an expert on a topic, reciting a poem, playing an ambassador or pop star from a foreign country, etc. Often a third player is on hand to ask questions or help get questions from the audience. 

(aka: Gibberish Translator, Gibberish Expert, Gibberish Interpreter)


Pro Tips:

  • Good gibberish sounds like actual foreign language (instead of baby talk or silly repetitive noises).
  • Encourage big physicality to give the translator as much as possible to work with.
  • The more faithfully the translator interprets what it sounds like the alien is actually saying, the more satisfying for the audience. Try to match emotional tone, intention, sentence structure, physicality, etc. 
  • You can save time by assuming that the alien understands enough English to not need the questions translated into gibberish for her. So we only have to translate her answers for the audience. 

Alternate Versions:

  • If you want to build up your gibberish skills you can play a version of this game using slips of paper with gibberish phrases written on them (or even use sentences written in another language). 
  • Try doing a gibberish poet with a translator, and then add an interpretive dancer as well.
  • For a more scenic game involving gibberish, check out Foreign Film.

If you know more about this game, leave a comment and we'll update the website.