Evolution of robots

By Phil Plait | January 4, 2009 11:18 pm

I stumbled on a fascinating video. It’s an evolutionary allegory told in modern methods with a focus on the gestalt…

… oh, who am I kidding? It has a freakin’ STEAMPUNK T-REX! Hawesommmmme! I suggest you go to the YouTube page itself and click the "Watch in HD" link under the video to the right. This deserves good resolution.

That was totally cool. Man, I love that kind of animation.

The video is actually a commercial in German, of course. I don’t know what "Wir hassen teuer" means, because it sounds colloquial to me. Haben wir BABloggees wer Deutsches sprechen? I think I got that right. Well, you’ll let me know.

Tip o’ the mechanical goggles to Fark.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff

Comments (49)

  1. Brian

    “We detest high prices”, I think is what it means.

  2. Daniel

    This was awesome!

  3. Ah, Brian, I think you’re right. I hadn’t put it together that way, but that makes sense.

  4. Klaus

    Actually, it would mean “We hate high prices”, with an emphasis on ‘hate’.

    Advertising (in my eyes, anyway) is usually moronic and directed by/to idiots. But the animation on this one truly is lovely :)

  5. Richard Saunders speaks German – “Wir hassen teuer” — I’ll go ask him!

  6. Apparently it means:

    Selection was tough.
    But now it’s here.
    The most powerful tech of all time.
    “Mercilessly low-priced.”
    Saturn
    “We hate pricey.”

  7. Jennifer

    Saturn in well-known for such phrases and they have coined the ubiquitous and incredibly annoying (to me) “Geiz ist geil”, which means something like stinginess rocks (or maybe Greed is good!). Wir hassen teuer is just incorrect German and just as annoying as Geiz ist geil. But the animation IS cool, thanks for posting it.

  8. Noam Zur

    It’s a commercial for a retailer of electronics in Germany. As Jennifer pointed out before me – the translation is difficult to say the least, because the original has bad syntax to start of with. The best I can come up with is along the lines of “We hate expensive” (which shares the similarly bad grammar). These commercials are usually very annoying and only one of the reasons I have forsaken TV and moved on the the Intertoobs.
    But the animation on this one is truly amazing, I have to admit that much.

  9. TheWalruss

    Yes, I would translate this to “We hate expensive” – bad grammar and all!

    Robots = lovely!

  10. (HEARTS)

    Right up there with english words such as ‘Gawd’, ‘Hawt’ and other signs of degeneration of languages. But hey, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

    I sucks spellin’ – you betta take me da way I are!

    Happy New Year!

  11. PanterD2S

    She is saying:

    “Die Auslese war hart” – the selection was hard (difficult)
    “Doch jetzt ist sie da” – but now she is there
    “die stärkste Technik aller Zeiten” – the strongest (best) technique of all times
    “gnadenlos günstig” – merciless low priced
    “Saturn, wir hassen teuer” – Saturn, we hate expensive

    The other rival big electronic market in Germany is Media Markt (Slogan: Geiz ist Geil – greed (avarice) is good (?))
    The last part of this spot with this nice girl can be seen a hundred times per day in german TV – but I have never seen this whole beginning with the robots. Probably they cut it out because it costs too much expensive broadcasting time….they really hate expensive (:

    A fan of your site from Germany (;

  12. Chip

    Wir hassen teuer! Ich entwickelte sich in eine Frau zu finden und zu küssen “Chip”! ;)

  13. Martin Watts

    Rather the “We hate expensive” I’d suggest “We hate dear” as a possible direct translation.

  14. Arneb

    I think podblack’s (and by extension, Richard Saunders’) translation hits it best. “We hate pricey” preserves the bad grammar, the colloquial tone and the focus on money.

  15. Leander

    @Martin Watt

    It’s a possible translation, but in that context it’s definitely to be understood the way the commenters before you mentioned…”we hate expensive/pricey”.

  16. “I’ll be in my bunk”

  17. Good animation supported by natural selection. The woman at the end looks like Milla Jovovich.

  18. HP

    My machine translator gives it as “We hate expensively,” which corrects the grammar but makes a hash out of the syntax.

    “We hate dear” might work in the UK, but no one in NA uses “dear” as a synonym for “expensive.”

    If you want to preserve the ungrammatical character in English, you might go with something looser, like “We hates expensive,” since “We hate expensive” isn’t really grammatically incorrect. English turns adjectives into predicate objects all the time — “I hate red,” “Phil looks good,” etc.

    I for one am pleased to know that Saturn is a German electronics retailer; the first time I saw this ad I thought they were selling those hideous GM cars overseas.

  19. Chris

    “Saturn” is kinda like Fry’s or Best Buy — only worse.

  20. Chuck

    OK, now I’ve got a voice in my head saying “We hates expensive” and it sounds like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. What does that mean? ;)

  21. @Chuck, we’re both equally demented?

  22. DrFlimmer

    I hate commercials…

    “Haben wir BABloggees wer Deutsches sprechen?”

    Actually it should have been:

    “Haben wir BABloggees, die deutsch sprechen?”

    But it was quite good ;)

  23. James A. Brown

    Based on the context, I thought it meant, “Check out my breasts.”

  24. Wharaloadobutterybuttocks!

    Robots don’t evolve any more than anything else does. God made robots as they are from powdered iron and they’ve been that way for 6,000 years.

  25. JoeSmithCA

    Oh no that’s an equivelent of Fry’s Electronics in Germany? Egads, next they’ll be drinking French beer. :)

    Cool comercial though :)

  26. Frank

    Does anyone actually believe in the NOSTRADAUS 2012 documentary played last night in the History Channel???

  27. kuhnigget

    As good as CGI animation is getting, I’ll still take good old fashioned stop motion. May the Great God Nesuahyrrah bless you all.

  28. I saw the Corpse Bride the other day for the first time. Awesome stop motion animation. There is a nice easter egg in it… Vincent plays a “Harryhausen” piano.

  29. AndreasB

    PanterD2S: Media Markt hasn’t been a competitor to Saturn since 1990 when Media Markt bought Saturn. Now they are both owned by MediaSaturn Holding.

    As for the ad, I haven’t seen it full length on TV. I saw the full version only in a cinema as one of the pre-film commercials. And for those wondering, a cyber woman of some sort has been part of the Saturn commercials and the brand for many years now.

  30. kuhnigget

    @ Shane:

    In the Pixar film, Monsters, Inc., the name of the restaurant is “Harryhausen’s”.

    Ray’s movies inspired several generations of animators and special effects artists. His film, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, was one of the first to capitalize on the flying saucer craze, and ironically, became the visual inspiration for countless “sightings” that followed.

  31. Valis

    Hmm… Anyone ever read Greg Bear’s “Great Sky River”? One of the best SF novels regarding machine’s evolution…

  32. Jennifer

    Chuck: thank you for that, now I hear it too. But it beats the German version :)

  33. “Wir hassen teuer”, we must have said that a thousand times over on our New Year trip to Vienna, the pound has really taken a pounding recently.

  34. Chris CII

    Saturn is a german electronics stores chain, but with stores all over Europe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_(store)

  35. Hah- apparently the apex of robot/steampunk evolution is everything will be come a hot cyborg woman.

  36. jf

    @ blindw@cher:
    The woman at the end is Verónica Hugo.

  37. Elmar_M

    Yeah, we have Saturn here as well. I dont like their slogans either. “Geiz ist geil” was a horrible one at that. This new one is only a small improvement over that if any at all.
    Saturn is for some reason still better than Media Markt, which has less annoying commercials, but crappier service. The weird part of that is, that both belong to the same group.
    The commercial sure was cool though. I love animation and this wone was pretty neat!

  38. Levi

    Ich wünschte, ich hätte eine Roboterfrau. Mein Computer ist doch nicht sexy.

  39. JJonahJansen

    @Valis

    You’ve got the author wrong; Great Sky River was written by Gregory Benford.
    You are right about the quality tho’ – great reading. I’ll assume you’ve read the other five books in the series. If not; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_Center_Saga

    jj

  40. loosely_coupled

    @Chuck

    HAHAHAH… Oh man that made me laugh.. “weeee haaatez expennnnsssssive” in that shrill creepy Gollum voice! :) :)

  41. If they’re deliberately using bad grammar, I’d say a better translation is “Saturn is epic win!”

  42. Devonian

    And here we see the prehistory of Cybertron…

  43. LL

    Now this will be an evidence against the robot creationists…

  44. Jonas E

    Perhaps they have misspelled the slogan. They might have meant “Wir hassen Tiere”. “We hate animals!”

    ;-)

  45. Crux Australis

    Haben wir BABloggees wer Deutsches sprechen?

    Why did you say you want to eat my luggage?

  46. Grump

    In Discworld, luggage eats you!

  47. Stan9FOS

    Sexy robot girl speaking german = Who cares WHAT she’s saying, I GOTS to get me one of THESE!

  48. The translations above are generally correct, but not perfect.

    “Die Auslese war hart” – the selection was hard
    “Doch jetzt ist sie da” – but it is now here
    “die stärkste Technik aller Zeiten” – the best technology of all time
    “gnadenlos günstig” – mercilessly affordable
    “Saturn, wir hassen teuer” – Saturn, we hate expensive

    The grammar is fine. This is how germans talk.

    Furthermore, “Geiz ist geil” means greed is awesome. “geil” also means, more colloquially, sexy.

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