To the extent that she is not merely chucking us clickbait, Elena Horrillo’s piece on supposedly untranslatable Spanish expressions suggests she hasn’t read the English Wikipedia article, some of which has been translated into Spanish. Translating difficult expressions, sayings and proverbs like those cited was already a minor industry in the late Middle Ages (anyone heard of Erasmus?). I think the untranslatability meme is more recent, but I’d be happy to be proved wrong.
- A nurse called Callous
Some Spanish media mistook a translatable adjective in a Daily Mail article for an untranslatable proper noun, perhaps even imagining that it ran in the great tradition of Spanish female first names: Angustias, Benigna, Consolación, Dolores…
- Spanglish as a pidgin?
This morning someone rather unusual said something to me along the lines of:
Hice tres footin(g)(s) pero se me rompió el tendón(g), entonces dos liftin(g)(s) y ya me ves la cara, y luego en el hospital me metieron un dopin(g) tremendo y ahora estoy en una relación con la farmacéutica y lo llamo la ley
- Friki (es) -> geek (en)?
That’s what Google Translate says. Now, bar fights with statistical algorithms tend to be step-by-step procedures leading to human humiliation, but I think Google Images agrees with me in this case that frikis are gross idiots while geeks are still confused but neat. Here side-by-side are search links and the top three meme trees for the …
- Artur Mas: only the filthy Spanish are stopping every Catalan owning a farm right now
In a number of posts (see below) I’ve suggested that rather than use cheap, crap human translators customers should consider free, often-not-so-crap machine translation, so it was only a matter of time before someone called my bluff.