Well, here’s a race you won’t want to miss – it’s the prize-winning ‘Stupidest Titled Activity 2014’ which this year goes to the World Capital of Plastic Farming: ‘1st Trail Where Is Limit El Ejido’. Yes, they are all very excited, especially the chap who had the honour of finding, with just a google translator to help him navigate through the difficult Idioma de Shakespeare, the title for this magnificent event, a race across the hills behind the luscious resort.
This has nothing to do with translation, and it’s very curious. Where Is The Limit, the organisation itself, gets it right, but things go wrong when functionaries in El Egido fail to copy a simple four-word title correctly from the marketing materials, and their mess is then imitated faithfully by Diario de Almería and La Voz de Almería. By this stage it has become “I Where is Limit El Ejido”, which could lead trusting punters to some very strange conclusions regarding English verbs.
Why, oh why? Is this part of the alleged crisis caused by the abandonment of fact-based learning, which in England has apparently left 25% of secondary school children believing that Winston Churchill was a fictional talking dog, rather than a cat? Should Andalusian civil servants return to copying stuff off blackboards, with beatings when they screw up? (I know, you think they should be beaten anyway, but primate rights lawyers will catch up with you sooner or later.)
- Transvestite barrel organ dancers in 1930s Whitechapel and the 1860s London West End
With acrobats, clowns, and Doris and Thisbe, goddesses of wind.
- Reagrupament and mesophrase, the subcategory of translation that Dryden forgot
Candide of CataloniaWatch appears to have come to the conclusion that watching Catalonia is rather like watching paint dry, but without the happy ending. However, before retiring to cultivate its (keep reading) garden it sent me excerpts from a Catalan constitution proposed by Reagrupament which it found in a bar following the Hapsburg Pretender Day celebrations …
- The worst translator in the world? “Quoth she, so much I hate this nation, / I’ll damn this author in translation”
The London Magazine, 1734:
Verses occasioned by Mr. Budgel’s modest Proposal, in the Daily Post-Boy of Aug. 31. to give the Publick a new and accurate Translation of a late celebrated French Treatise, on the Causes of the Grandeur and Declension of the Romans, and which has been already translated.
Dulness, good goddess, chanc’d to
- English proficiency of the Spanish relative to other nations
La Información’s reporter says that this publication by Education First, a teaching multinational with an interest in making target clients nervous, shows that of the European countries examined, only the Russians and Turks had worse English skills than the Spanish. He then left to finish his primary school geography class, and so didn’t have time to wonder …
- Daniel Heinsius’ solitary phoenix and the final words of the beastly bookseller of Barcelona
In 1927 the Catalan literary researcher and writer, Ramon Miquel i Planas (1874-1950; henceforth MiP) wrote a little book, published in a bibliophile edition, called La llegenda del llibreter assassí. In it he reflects on the origins and recycling of “Le bibliomane ou le nouveau Cardillac”, an anonymous tale published as if true in 1836 …