Untranslatability

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…

Turespaña

Useless extramural political appointees preferred to useless intramural political appointees for massively well-paid foreign gigs! Hard call, that, and the comments are a joy. Still, at least they didn’t waste money by having their nephew translate the website: (Try here if image doesn’t embiggen correctly.) To be fair, the Catalan, Galician and Basque versions are…

Vicente Fox

Man who can’t write English got a piece of paper from Harvard Business School. No problem: been there, seen that, finishing school for the N American ruling caste. But same man has got 307K followers on Twitter – even more than the Singing Organ Grinder – many of whom attach symbolic, patriotic importance to his…

John Florio and Charles Cotton’s translations of Montaigne

Wading through a Francophone African legal swamp, where jurisprudence grows out of the barrel of a gun, one is reminded of early translators’ struggles with Montaigne: John Florio (beware of noisome loons who think he’s Shakespeare), 1603: In summe, if any thinke he could do better, let him trie; then will he better thinke of…

EU working languages & linguistic discrimination

Why pleb-speakers (I’d have thought of Greeks, Bulgarians, Turks(!) before Italians, not to mention the Cataloonies, who a few years ago thought the world was tilting their way…) from outside the EU core will never get a job there. What an immense mess, and how immensely profitable for some.

Borrowed glory

Tim Parks slags some prominent Italian-English literary translators and praises some lesser-known ones in the New York Review of Books: The problem is that it is hard for the wider public or even the critics really to know whether they have been given a good translation, and not easy even for the editors who have…

Linguistic change as a result of speech defects

Someone sent me the item about the drunken Galician whoremonger who got trapped in a lavoir (Spanish narrative), and I put it on in the background. Galician normally sounds like dodgy rural Spanish with a bit of Portuguese thrown in, but the first interviewee threw me completely. A completely new dialect? Nope: check his front…

Translating Tarantino: much ado about fucking

David Torres Ortún (cache) re the Spanish dubbing of The Hateful Eight aka Los odiosos ocho: Hay dos problemas principales con la traducción de las películas de Tarantino, que también aparecen en Los Odiosos Ocho: Uno es la desidia, un error bastante común es traducir de forma inadecuada la palabra fuck, y en especial fucking…

Miss Hurd strikes again

An Italian libertarian tells me that she and some friends booked to Burning Man were surprised to land in Solihull. Refugees from London are now rowing up the M6 to Burning Man aka Birmingham, Brighton and then Bath and Bristol having become too expensive, but best British value is still to be found in Boro,…