Should American-Spanish political interpreters know about Methodism?

In an FT piece a couple of days ago (via) we learn that “As Benoy discovered to its cost, interpreters need to be close to the subject matter as well as competent linguistically”. I didn’t catch the Zapatero Snakeoil Show chez les Obama the other day, but I did see most of Hillary’s slot on RTVE and listened with steadily increasing interest to the interpreter’s version. At first I thought that his pauses during her mentions of the importance of Methodism in her life and her Biblical references might be part of Spanish state TV strategy to help the boss–who domestically appears to take particular delight in assaulting the church–by downplaying the importance of religion. But then he repeatedly translated John Wesley as “Wezli”, and I knew that he had simply never heard of the founder of the faith which George W Bush spent so long trying to find. Pretty voice, fucked interpreter, IMHO.

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Last updated 15/07/2018

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Barcelona (1399):

Bible (34):

Christianity (39):

English language (462):

Föcked Translation (414): I posted to a light-hearted blog called Fucked Translation over on Blogger from 2007 to 2016, when I was often in Barcelona. Its original subtitle was "What happens when Spanish institutions and businesses give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word." I never actually did much Spanish-English translation (most of my work is from Dutch, French and German) but I was intrigued and amused by the hubristic Spanish belief, then common, that nepotism and quality went hand in hand, and by the nemeses that inevitably followed.

RTVE (2): The Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española, S.A.

Spain (1881):

Spanish language (504):

Translation (788):


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