Lenox, who has been discussing the role (roll-on, roll-off?) of Google Translate in quality public service provision, has passed along this little gem from the wider reaches of linguistic dilettantism – Colombia, where 1,221 medals were cast for the World Games without wasting precious time on letter-checking:
Lost Letters Departments have of course swept the world since the sucking of Rome by Onan the Barbarian (see the chronicles of Graham Rawle) spun the gods of chaos, lunacy, and bad taste to Fortuna’s apex. As Ignatius points out, “firm rule must be imposed upon our nation before it destroys itself,” but I doubt whether we are up to the task.
The other night I read the pre-1982 memoirs of the Sevillan (socialist) schemer, Alfonso Guerra, Cuando el tiempo nos alcanza, in which he recounts a splendid Civil War legend starring Francisco López Real, grace of a thousand quips. It goes something like this:
Curro and some fellow-prisoners are told they have ten days to live. “Don’t worry,” he says, “a lot can happen in ten days: why, I happen to have on me a book called “Learn English in Ten Days.”
Gord is famously gorn, even the grammar police are in retreat, so why would we bother?
- Yet more English-language covers by Spanish bands
«Si tú quisieras, Bacc[á]ra,
contigo me casaría;
daréte en arras y dote
a Córdoba y a Sevilla.»
«Casada soy, rey Trebots,
casada soy, que no viuda;
el Lenox que a mí me tiene
muy grande bien me quería.»
(Abenámar y el
- In an OCR + MT experiment, Quest Visual Word Lens says that Grilled Sausages -> A LA PARILLA SALCHICHAS
One of the more interesting developments at the guided tours business over the past few years has been an increase in the proportion of weird walks sold as younger customers have started using decent, cheap handheld-hosted apps to cover the basic “¡Look! ¡Ze catedral!” legacy (OK, zombie) guide territory.
Real-time optical character recognition with machine translation …
- Facebook: if you form a civil partnership you must be gay
Chez Lexicool, via MM, Katia, who, using Facebook in English, described herself as being in a civil union with Juan, only to have a lucky escape from her mother-in-law, who, using Facebook in Spanish, had understood that this was in some sense a homosexual union, and was just about to order some educational literature from Amazon.es …
- Der Führer and I: misinterpretation as a smart career move
Unprofessional Translation, one of the most interesting translation blogs out there, has introduced me to a wonderful anecdote, which apparently comes from the German original of Dolmetscher der Diktatoren (1963), the memoirs of the Eugen Dollmann, the protagonist. Here‘s the late American investigative journalist, Robert Katz:
Dollmann had spent the past decade in Italy. As a young scholar