I believe that only two bodies criticised here have ever responded: one rapidly fixed the problem and went out of business; Alejandro Villén@Loving Books indicated that he’d continue to sell his pile of poo, and is probably doing very nicely. And I doubt very much that any of the rest gives a monkey’s. It’s time to get tough.
Unless things improve rapidly, starting on April 1st Fucked Translation will activate a global network of sleeper linguists. These lethal and dedicated professionals – driven to despair by decades of half-witted customer queries and 12-month payment delays on negligible invoices – will produce defective writing and translation in Spanish on such a scale as to, where applicable, reduce Hispanophonia to the level of Gary Larson’s famous dogs:
Furthermore, Spanish speakers will come to think they are talking Italian.
Here, from Tintin’s favourite château, is a preview of the chaos that awaits.
And here’s a simple Pac-man vs monster representation (küchen with thanks to MM):
Perhaps someone would like to update this bit of my favourite romance to reflect the above threats:
vn moro tras un almena
començole de fablar
vete el Rey fernando
no quieras aqui envernar
que los frios deſta tierra
no los podras comportar
pan tenemos por diez años
mil vacas para ſalar
veinte mil moros ay dentro
todos de armas tomar
ocho çientos de cavallo
para el eſcaramuçar
ſiete caudillos tenemos
tan buenos como rroldan
y juramento tienen fecho
antes morir que ſe dar
What’s special about it? Unlike most, it places you in a historically identifiable time and place; the practical details (salting the meat) give a particular sense of verisimilitude; unusually the Moor has the last word; the alexandrines are easy, even for someone who’s never recited in Spanish before; the vocabulary isn’t too complicated; and it’s short enough that you declaim all of it from the steps of the church in Santa Fe del Penedés, facing Granada on the hill, and make a getaway before the police arrive.
- French lessons: Grannie on her bike rides across the pool
Boby Lapointe, an obsessive, deranged comic genius who seems to have drunk himself to death aged 50, points to one of the delicious traps lying in wait for elephants who proceed beyond their French-English phrasebooks – the fact that of the supposed infinity of possible sentences in natural language, most are nonsense:
- The economic case for fucked translation
Via LS an anonymous cartoon of the gulf between what we (would like to) think we have said and what we (are understood to) have actually said:
Why don’t we say what we think? Why do the inventors of magnificent flying machines gibber like madmen? Why, in our case, do excellent Spanish bars produce hilarious English menus?
I think …
- Francophone ticket recycling centre at Valencia Joaquín Sorolla station?
Bring out your dirty tickets:
Tickets sales, tickets sale, when all I wanted was ticket sales. Well, then, just show me the way to the next tourist office:
The latter is in Valencia’s great Northern Station, which, confusingly for those with a basic understanding of conventional geography, is just outside Valencia’s vanished medieval South Gate. I pointed …
- Sex and the internet in Spanish
Here’s a curious little corpse-worm:
Curious for me, because I thought that the arrival in Hispanidad of services provided over TCP/IP and HTTP was divisible into three sociolinguistic phases:
- Tech nerds tend to assign masculine gender to this weird new shit, more or less as per Regina Morin, Spanish gender assignment in computer and Internet
- ¡Gracias y adiós!
Update includes the top 10 posts at time of closure.