I remember being rather disappointed when, aged 6, one of my first friends in England, the son of refugees from the new Islamism in South Asia, now the old Islamism in Tower Hamlets and Luton and Blackburn, explained to me that there were indeed streets and libraries in Pakistan. I have no idea what happened to BM, but I hope that he too, in this Starbucks world, would appreciate the sense of place and distance created by “THE 8:30 TILL 13:30 H.” in the gallery over at El Confidencial.
If the Espanish are mistranslating in order to give us stupid monkeys something to talk about, then I wonder whether we Anglocabrones aren’t also acting up for the Occidentalist, sensation-seeking locals:
The first thing an Englishman does on arriving in Benidorm is take off his shirt. Bumping into passersby with naked torsos, reddened by radiation, is commonplace. It doesn’t make any difference how close the street is to the beach: taking their shirts off is a symbol of the temporary liberation which they have decided to undergo in a paradise in which the sun shines almost daily, and where one can watch Liverpool or Manchester United on a giant screen, seated on a terrace and with a pint of beer at a price of 1.5 euros.
- 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
- Some migration songs
With an introduction by St. Spike in the Moon.
- Spanish noun-adjective semantic ambiguity
None of the immediate context enables one to say whether the South Tangier refugee relief committee was anxious to grasp Helena Maleno’s breasts à la Egyptienne because they read her as a Spanish prostitute (adjective española classifies noun puta (restrictive)), or as a fucking Spaniard (adjective puta describes more fully the noun española (non-restrictive)):
- Transformative translation: Schloss
We’re all fucked in the end -the reward for life is death- but meanwhile the profession would be greatly improved if rendered client-free. MM:
My career as a translator of guides to buildings in Central Europe started ignominiously when I gave in to the resident of Schloß Leitheim, who insisted it was Leitheim Castle.