Peter Harvey is suffering from that perennial Spanish problem–translation agencies that don’t pay the modest rates they promise.
This blog enjoys dressing up but has no plans to become for the translation sector what el Cobrador del Frac is for the world at large: a debt collection agency which compensates for a deeply flawed legal system by using fancy dress to exert moral pressure on unrepentant debtors. Last year Popular Televisión Navarra ran a nice little piece on them:
SMEs and, increasingly, bankrupt local authorities form a substantial part of the problem. So how appropriate it was that a bill proposed in spring last year which, rather than improving creditor protection, would have shielded debtors from embarrassment (!!!) was associated with CiU, which garners much of its support from SMEs, is involved in a welter of embezzlement cases, and is run by lawyers, who would benefit as a sector from a crackdown on street artists.
I have no idea what happened to the bill, and I hope it failed. Antonio Burgos wondered a while back whether the reduction in unemployment in the Aznar years wasn’t due solely to a rapid growth in the number of creditor agents dressed as clowns, monks, and Groucho Marx. El Cobrador del Frac, however, suggests that had Cervantes not been an itinerant debt collector Quijote might not have been born
- Buy your knives from Quttin, with thoughts on final /g/s and a poem by Ambrose Bierce
The latest pseudo-anglicism to cheer my bedraggled brain comes from a 20-year-old Albacete knife manufacturer. (See also camping, parking, lifting, shampooing, footing, and Wikipedia.) I like the dropped /g/, which interestingly goes against a trend in Andaluz and increasingly in other versions of Spanish to add a terminal /g/ to words previously ending in /n/. …
- The Old Curiosity Shop -> La tienda de antigüedades / El almacén de antigüedades / El pequeño gabinete de antigüedades?
An old junk-shop or an old-junk shop; an old shop that sells curiosities, or a shop that sells old curiosities? One person’s trash is another’s treasure, and I wondered idly whether the Spanish translators hadn’t all got it wrong -perhaps misled by the building’s current, posh aspect- and whether it shouldn’t have been La vieja
- Degerundisation in Furrin
In Spanish etc., campsite > camping, carpark > parking, etc., but then in German happy ending > happy End. Who cares? End is a genital euphemism in English, so a happy ending in a London massage parlour loses nothing in translation. The Happy End of Georg Anton Benda’s version of Romeo and Juliet is more of a struggle:
- Worst ever Spanish covers of English-language songs?
I haven’t talked to any of the perpetrators, but I have little doubt that the principal cause of what we regard as fucked translation is a misunderstanding as to its function: whereas English-speakers expect to encounter a linguistic resource, the aim of Romance-dialect-speaking businesses, politicians and civil servants in providing English translation is often symbolic …
- Benidorm: moderately poor translation as a selling point redux
I remember being rather disappointed when, aged 6, one of my first friends in England, the son of refugees from the new Islamism in South Asia, now the old Islamism in Tower Hamlets and Luton and Blackburn, explained to me that there were indeed streets and libraries in Pakistan. I have no idea what happened