This blog has speculated over the years that much translation in Spain has been commissioned primarily in order to enrich and/or reputation-launder the clan commissioning it, rather than to benefit the institution involved by delivering words in Furrinese that cost-effectively reflect the original text.
The case of the inheritance of the crony capitalist Julio Muñoz Ramonet (1912-91) is different. Here mistranslation of a detail in his will is said to have been crucial in ensuring that part of his ill-gotten fortune passed into the hands of the City of Barcelona, rather than those of his loathsome daughters.
According to El Confidencial, that detail was the specification that his Spanish loot be held post-mortem “unter dem Patronat der Stadt Barcelona,” which means something like “bajo el patrocinio de la ciudad de Barcelona” (“under the patronage of the City of Barcelona”) and which confers only obligations, but which the Council conveniently translated as “bajo el patronato de la ciudad de Barcelona” (“under trusteeship of the City of Barcelona”) and confers rights as well as obligations (have your sic bag ready):
En alemán, la palabra ‘patronat’ significa ‘patrocinio’, mientras que el patronato como órgano tiene diferentes nombres: ‘Stiftungkuratorium’, ‘Stiftungvorstand’, ‘Vorstands’, ‘Stiftungausschuss’ o ‘Ausschuss’. Y es importante tener en cuenta que, en castellano, la palabra ‘patronato’ tiene intencionalidad jurídica porque equivale al gobierno de la fundación. En alemán, en cambio, no tiene intencionalidad jurídica porque se refiere a patrocinio o ‘esponsorización’ y no al gobierno de la institución
Why did it take the heiresses 25 years to bring this up? I don’t know, but who can resist a clientelist-on-clientelist war over patronal rights?
- More evidence that Barcelona Council doesn’t give a fuck about German
In order to get walkers down from the carpark exit from Park Güell a tourist superhighway is being constructed along what used to be a nostalgic dogshit alley. To enliven the concrete a Gaudí quote is repeated in languages starting with Arabic and ending with Catalan that “Everything comes from the great book of Nature.” …
- Barcelona Council, fan of the heavy metal umlaut?
The council’s Christmas greetings–some of which include Spanish, the city’s common language–wish passersby “Fröhe Weihnachten” instead of “Frohe Weihnachten”. Regional president José Montilla’s kids go to the German School in Barcelona, so presumably they didn’t get to proofread.
- The website of the Barcelona city
Check the header of the main English page of Barcelona City Council.
- “an equilibrate balance between apprentice and entertainment”
Has Loftwines, actually a first floor Barcelona office, been trying too much of its “communication tool”? Or do they believe their clients will be too drunk to notice yet more fucked translation?
The original copy is pretty terrible, although you’ve got to wish someone luck whose line is that boozing is good for business. Just out …