My impression is that the Chinese are ahead, but it seems hard to criticise them for this: huge efforts have been made over the past decade to make a previously sternly monolingual country more accessible to foreigners; the effort is laudable and the meaning usually clear.
It is harder to defend Spain, which has had mass Anglo tourism and immigration for a long time but failed to respond adequately. This effort by Granada Council is a bit sad–you know what they mean, and if they’d gone into a tourist bar they could have had it corrected for free. However, Granada is still way ahead of places like Ripoll, which houses one of the marvels of Iberian Romanesque but doesn’t think it worth advertising that fact in any but the local language.
No translation: no mistakes, but less tourists too. “Wher herte is failed,/Ther schal no castell ben assailed,” but you’ve got to wonder in cases like Ripoll whether the heart is even willing.
- Me speakee inglés
Money also drives translation projects, and only thieves and fools cost and conduct them in a way that lacks clear and defensible commercial goals. …
- John Florio and Charles Cotton’s translations of Montaigne
Wading through a Francophone African legal swamp, where jurisprudence grows out of the barrel of a gun, one is reminded of early translators’ struggles with Montaigne:
- John Florio (beware of noisome loons who think he’s Shakespeare), 1603: In summe, if any thinke he could do better, let him trie; then will he better thinke of
- Vote for the Jerez pronoun party
I suppose that the use of “their” followed by “you” at the beginning of these parking fine instructions can be explained either as fucked translation or as an attempt to encourage a neighbourliness unusual in these parts, but I think the glorious use of “him” at word sixteen crowned by the subsequent “he/she” degenderisation clearly …
- A booth was very pleased by its plasticity and practicality
There is a vague reek of sulphur in the English version of Hoteles Servigroup’s website (fingers say “webstie”: begone swine, and Satan), but the angel with the bottomless pit really lets fly in a puff-piece at a site invented for that purpose, which, because that is what the author, Ms Sauron, would surely want, we reproduce …