Tom (who is these days blogging less and twittering more) encountered this proclamation on entering Ciudadela de Menorca, and suggests correctly that it refers to the publication in the Boletín Oficial del Estado of a fascist decree, promoted by education minister Manuel Lora Tamayo and signed off by Franco on Christmas Eve 1964, protecting the town’s conjunto histórico-artístico from local
patriots developers, who had been building furiously since mass tourism in the Balearics kicked off a decade earlier.
The citadel figured in the franquista imagination for one of the Civil War’s more curious events, the (non-)Battle of Minorca in early February 1939, when British diplomacy facilitated a rapid Republican surrender, thereby averting some additional bloodshed, bombardment of the historic quarter, and the establishment of an Italian airbase on the island. There is obviously no mention of this quite important event in the decree, and I doubt any memorial to it exists in the town itself. An accurate and acceptable text would be quite difficult to draft, but the translation would probably give joy to many. One for the Foreign Office?
- Is mistranslation sometimes merely an attempt to inject life into English, a dull, stumbling language?
Michael Gilleland < Christoph Irmscher < Longfellow:
The difficulty of translation lies chiefly in the color of words. Is the Italian “Ruscelletto gorgoglioso” fully rendered by “Gurgling brooklet”? Or the Spanish “Pájaros vocingleros” by “Garrulous birds”? Something seems wanting. Perhaps it is only the fascination of foreign and unfamiliar sounds; and to the Italian or Spanish ear the English words would …
- The use of phoney billing cooperatives by Spanish freelancers to avoid paying exorbitant autónomo social security contributions
This is not turning into a fucked translators blog, but it is said that freelance translation (or journalism, or such) in Spain is born of the same lunatic heroism that impels people to buy houses there or to walk its pavements.
- Der Führer and I: misinterpretation as a smart career move
Unprofessional Translation, one of the most interesting translation blogs out there, has introduced me to a wonderful anecdote, which apparently comes from the German original of Dolmetscher der Diktatoren (1963), the memoirs of the Eugen Dollmann, the protagonist. Here‘s the late American investigative journalist, Robert Katz:
Dollmann had spent the past decade in Italy. As a young scholar
- The legislation affecting the Catalan language is different depending on what state you are speaking
One of the inconveniences of living or doing business on Mallorca over the last decade has been language legislation which, unless like Palma-based Air Berlin you are big enough to ignore the law, has required all (ie not just customer-facing) public employees to speak fluent Catalan and all businesses to provide all consumer information and, where …