Freudian false friend hamstrings Spanish government’s City presentation

An amusing and presumably unintended glimpse of the Spanish economic pushmi-pullyu–are structural reforms for real or merely for foreigners?–is to be found on slide 22 of the “Kingdom of Spain Economic Policy and 2010 Funding Strategy” used by Secretary Campa yesterday in London (via):

Can we implement this? We have done it in the past, which proves our compromise, the quality of our public finances, and the success of our fiscal discipline.

Damn, damn, damn! “Compromiso” in Spanish is a commitment in English, while “compromise” in English means in Spanish that you’re going to do whatever the trade unions tell you. If Ms Salgado had sent the whole Powerpoint to a decent translator tagged “urgent” and taken him to dinner afterwards, then she’d still have had change out of 1,000€. But hey, why waste money on translation when you’re going to lose the next elections anyway?

The Mr Hyde of the Zapatero government’s deeds can be found in the Spanish press, but here’s Dr Jekyll:

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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):

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.

Gobierno de España (5):

Government of Spain (6): The Government of Spain is the central government which leads the executive branch and the General State Administration of Spain.

Spain (1881):

Spanish language (504):

Translation (788):


  1. The rest is OK. Never overlook the possibility that a client can have a bright idea at the last minute, after taking delivery, and ruin a perfectly good translation all by himself.

  2. My hypothesis was roughly along those lines: the economists did a good job, then a spinmeister in a 1000€ suit came along at the last minute and added a "commitment" slide.

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