The excellent Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware, dedicated to exposing literary scams, has discovered Author Translation. This agency appears to specialise in EN->ES at extremely low prices – 0.02$ per translated word is quoted. As Victoria notes, they find English a struggle, but the sample Spanish translation provided (grab) -of an Arthurian romance self-published by one Kim Headlee- is also amateurish (observations / corrections in square brackets):
- the moon lit the ice-crusted rocks and brush where Prince Badulf and his band hid -> la luna iluminaba las rocas con costras de hielo y rozaba [matorral: the translator has confused scrubland and a fleeting touch] donde el príncipe Badulf y su banda se escondían
- the hardiest war-band -> la más dura de las bandas-guerreras [bandas guerreras: unhyphenated in Spanish]
- a striking snake -> una serpiente batiéndose [serpiente mordiente: the translator has
a snake beating itself, or somethinga fighting snake]
I suspect this is just one more person trying to figure out how to get through the crisis, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the good people of Virginia. On the other hand, even the good kings of Britain are beyond salvation.
Can you say, “Se siente el diente hiriente de la serpiente mordiente”?
- 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
- When did you born? Birth, agency and Whorfian politicology
Wine-buff Víctor de la Serna (via Carlos Ferrero) has nailed Domecq Bodegas for an amusing slip on the otherwise impeccable site, “When did you born?” I haven’t really looked for literary or scientific evidence, and I’m pretty ignorant of non-me dialectal forms, but I’d hazard that this form is actually quite common among some groups of …
- Yes, we want! – CORRECTION, CORRECTED
It’s turning out to be more complicated than I thought: post first, correction below, clarification bottom.
Esperanza Aguirre’s Madrid appears to have made impressive advances in implementing bilingual (Spanish-English) education in the region. Unfortunately it didn’t bother to check that Adsolut, the creative agency on the system’s new ad campaign, had included a translator in its €127,600 budget. …
- 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 …