We’re all fucked in the end -the reward for life is death- but meanwhile the profession would be greatly improved if rendered client-free. MM:
My career as a translator of guides to buildings in Central Europe started ignominiously when I gave in to the resident of Schloß Leitheim, who insisted it was Leitheim Castle.
Others calls it Leitheim Palace, but are they right? Would Chateau Leitheim work? Schloss works, but I think of the American who asked the way to the Schlob in Heidelberg…
I have neither Ms Marks’ talent nor experience, but I think that in a case like this I would look the client in the eye, take them by the hand, and lead them into the grounds. “Regard that marvellous building [CC Manfi. B],” I would say, “possessed of both the strength of the castle and the sweetness of the palace”:
“In fact, dear client,” I would say, “all it lacks is a Transformative Translator® to give adequate expression to it in the motherfucker of all languages. Now, get out your wallet and start counting, because we’re going to call it Leitheim Turgid Torpid Rhinoceros Pigfucker. For cast your eye again, from right to left, and you will see a hornèd head, followed by a weak back and monstrous fat arse, the latter two qualities indicative respectively of addictions to CSI and cranberry juice, the whole terminated by a piggy tail and some pink shading whose genetic origins we are, under consumer protection legislation, obliged to recall and disclose.”
Borges wrote that “German is a very beautiful language; perhaps more beautiful than the literature it has produced,” and perhaps you could say that its speakers require imaginative assistance. On the other hand, Borges’ Autobiografía (1970, aged 71) is only a third of the length of Nigel Farage’s Fighting bull/Flying free (2010, aged 46), so maybe the reluctant Argentine’s opinions weren’t that interesting or important after all.
- 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 …
- 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
- 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/. …
- A victim responds!
Lynce say, “We’re working on it,” which is what any intelligent organisation does in such circumstances, and I’m sure they’ll get it right – the product looks good, and there are a lot of demonstrators and worried governments around at the moment.
- Servicios / Tualet
With alien hordes roaming the streets, desperate for a leak, Cazorla Council cracked open the piggy bank and commissioned this marvellous sign:
But is the target audience English- or French-speaking? And, since the verbal and iconic messages aren’t coordinated (users don’t immediately associate the arrow and icon on the left with the words on the right), …