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 que por contexto puede ser recreada de muchas formas. Por ejemplo: dumb fuck puede ser «tonto del culo» o «tonto de los cojones»; fuck it puede ser «¡a la mierda!», «¡joder!» o «¡a tomar por culo!» entre otras posibilidades. Con fucking ocurre lo mismo, pero —misteriosamente— se suele traducir como «jodido/a, jodidos/jodidas» sin ton ni son, una mala traducción por lo antinatural que resulta. ¿Cómo se traduciría por ejemplo fucking nigger? Algunas posibilidades serían «puto negro» o «negro de mierda» ¿pero quién dice sin aires peliculeros «jodido negro» en la calle?

Hay debate sobre este asunto (¿autocensura?), efectivamente «puto negro» o «negro de mierda» son expresiones muy fuertes, incómodas y ofensivas, pero así es fucking nigger en Estados Unidos.

Dicho esto, el empacho de «jodidos/das» está presente en casi toda las obras de Quentin, y Los Odiosos Ocho no es una excepción. Si no hay problema en mostrar cómo explota la cabeza de un vaquero ¿por qué lo hay con el lenguaje soez? Y si las películas de Tarantino están destinadas a una audiencia adulta ¿por qué debemos sufrir una versión poco natural y edulcorada del lenguaje soez?

En Los Odiosos Ocho la fugitiva que canta sobre un villano, haciendo alusión a su némesis, puede hacerlo en perfecto inglés ¡sin subtitular!

Read it all.


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, particularly now the Sacha Baron Cohen effect (Ctrl-F Kazakhstan) has been priced into the ruins of Grimsby port.

The French are on to us: Mishead Lyrics - What did he said ?

IRQ says that the politician who caused the greatest impression on Felipe González, and on whom he models his vanity hair for photo-ops, was Margaret Thatcher, "la dama del cardado de hierro, o 'Helmet Hair'".


The European dissemination of Barcelona Maghrebis' trademark mugging technique: a brief multilingual glossary

The emerging narrative seems to be that the mass sexual assaults in Cologne and other places during the New Year celebrations confronted on the one hand white left-wing institutional racism and sexism (brown men can do no ill, for all Rolf Jäger's (misreported?) fine words) with on the other hand brown right-wing popular racism and sexism (white women will get what's coming to them). The Dutch shock comic, Hans Teeuwen, satirised what in 2002 was already a known problem in a comprehensively blasphemous scene, God and Allah, in his show, Dat dan weer wel, "Mind you":

And Allah thinks that all Dutch women are whores!
And he's absolutely right!

But taharrush gamea تحرش جماعي / taḥarruš jamāʕiyy isn't the only criminal activity spreading rapidly across Europe, protagonised by Maghrebis, and posited on the exploitation of interethnic misunderstanding. I first encountered the the "Ronaldinho" brown-on-white male-bonding pickpocket routine in around 1998 in Barcelona, when a member of a Moroccan street gang tried (and failed) to apply it to DA in c/ Carders. (I'd be interested to hear if anyone has an earlier date, particularly in a different city and involving different ethnicities. I failed to find any older material, though I thought I might in early 20th century accounts of dancehall escorts.) Probably tens of thousands of Barcelona victims later, I last saw it a few months ago, when JS was relieved of his iPhone with rather more force by a lone Moroccan on c/ Avinyó. Here's a Barcelona compilation from 2010:

I had never really thought about the specific mechanics until the recent posting by the Düsseldorf police of this excellent instructional film:

The video surprised me because I didn't know that el Ronaldinho had spread beyond Amsterdam and Rotterdam. But it now appears to have become common in most places across Europe where young Moroccan- and Algerian-heritage males regularly come into contact with their naive and preferably drunken white counterparts, particularly tourists from safer parts, whether foreign or suburban/rural.

I think that in Barcelona it is still known as "the Ronaldinho", though now that his gangly gait is fading from memory we probably need a new name. The Germans seem to use Antänzer quite a lot for the perpetrator, which Kate Connolly@Guardian translates as "waltzer", as in waltzing up to someone, though I'd prefer "seriously-come-dancer". They also use more literal expressions like Tanzende Diebe, "dancing thieves", as do the Dutch and Flemish - dansende dieven, dansdiefstal ("dance theft") and dansdieven ("dance thieves") - and the French and Walloons - vol à la danse has been around since at least 2013.

I also think that the technique is still specific to Maghrebi thieves (I have never heard of anyone else using it), but I imagine that will change rapidly: it is easily learnt (particularly now that Facebook video has supplemented and perhaps to a considerable extent displaced presential learning networks), relatively non-violent (hence unlikely to lead to any serious police action), effective (defence is hard when tipsy, even if one appreciates that strangers are not to be trusted), and lucrative (I think there's a causal connection between its diffusion and that of the iPhone). Anyone who remembers stuff like the 1999 Feyenoord football riots will know that no-one is perfect, and that, to put it mildly, rape and pillage are not the exclusive preserve of North Africans. Dubbing it "the Tangier tackle" isn't going to work.

Someone else may want to discuss redneck disco-shopping moves:



Name that novel


'Ice e-skating,' said Marta.
'Ice skating,' said Domingo.
'Ice e-skating.'
'No, no. No e. Ice skating. Try it again.'
Marta hesitated.
'Go on!'
'Ice es-kating,' she said, with deliberation.
Domingo smiled. 'Don't worry about it. It's a common problem for Spaniards. Two consonants together causes a difficulty. I have conquered this issue after a long time. But you are unlikely to need these words in any case.'
'I would like to learn some English,' said Marta.
Domingo puffed his cheeks and spat the air out in a fuff. 'It will come. Don't worry about it. Where's the need anyway?'


[Domingo:] 'Although Valencia University is one of the best in the world, these people here are by and large ignorant and know nothing of the Brontës or Thackeray.'
Marta began to put things away. She needed to get in the cupboard that Domingo blocked with his body. He didn't move although she waited in front of him. Eventually she left the pans on the cooker to be put away in the morning.

Yup, you got it: Monica Ali's Brick Lane, with the names changed (Cada martes tiene su domingo), works pretty well as a 1920s Spanish novel about the rural-urban divide & co.

You can observe Spaniards and Bangladeshis side-by-side at Billingsgate fish market saying "Where's that e-skate from?" You may be pleased to hear that in this at last - at long last - I have found a way to make my fortune. I am setting up a genuine night school (hours: 04:00-06:00) alongside the existing music school at Billingsgate purely to correct this aspect of South European and South Asian English phonetics. Its name? "E-learning".


Seniorita's sauna and massage parlour, Chatsworth Road, Clapton, London

Google Brain is rounding off this blog's already manifest redundancy, so let's treasure Seniorita's while we may:

Seniorita's is of course advertised on pimpsites as a brothel (grab). This supposed punter will never make it in the grocery trade:

Senioritas At 2 chatsworth rd london E5 you will find a mp with about 8 young chinese girls.All between 7-9[?????].Nice clean place with good showers and a working sauna.A few eastern european girls sometimes.15 pounds to get in and 50 pounds for a half hour usually excellent service.

We Spanish might naively assume that the following was the result of the police and the council not having received sufficient discount:

“Of the workers, two admitted to offering sexual services to punters, but the remaining two were reluctant to discuss any type of service offered. It is important to stress that the workers were all there voluntarily and there were no concerns that they had been trafficked or held against their will.”

Sgt Hicks added that no prosecution was anticipated, but a follow-up visit was due and depending on the outcome, police may consider a prosecution if the premises was felt to be running as a brothel again.

Whence the name? Perhaps from a traditional anglicisation of señorita, although George Formby uses a different pronunciation in his Lancashire Toreador (01:15):

... and Al Jolson doesn't even attempt it in The Spaniard that Blighted My Life - the only blemish on a great song:

I don't know the history of the establishment, but I suppose a wandering brain might suggest that the name can't be blamed on the British. The owner since a previous raid is a young Bulgarian Turkish woman (grab), presumably from one of the impoverished post-Ottoman communities in the lower Danubian plain which have so far weathered the sweet rains of Balkan Slav nationalisms. The somewhat older accountant (grab), who one imagines has quite a lot to say, is a Greek, presumably Cypriot, and like the best of his generation probably speaks a bit of Turkish. But why, oh wandering brain, might people from the Eastern Mediterranean give their club a Western Mediterranean name? Did the Balkan Sephardim use this term for a brothel? Is the Roman myth of the Dancing Girls of Cadiz still told in Black Sea resorts? Did Eudoxus actually circumnavigate Africa in his second great ship (< Posidonius < Strabo), cutting out the Ptolemies and bearing to the rulers of India puellae gaditanae, whose techniques were copied by the tribes who migrated west and became known as gypsies? Was the Bulgarian-Turkish-Roma-whatever tragic talent Reyhan heiress to such a tradition?:

What is happening on Chatsworth Road?!

I think I'll have a cup of tea.


By the face

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola has apparently been paying Liberty Seguros an average of €45 per annum per car to insure a Mercedes Benz 230 SL Pagoda, a Porsche 911 S 2.7 turbo coupé, a Lotus Elan and a Ferrari F40. Crónica Global:

Un informe de la UDEF revela que a Jordi Pujol Ferrusola las pólizas de seguro de cuatro de los coches de lujo de su propiedad le salían by the face, o casi.

I don't know that expression in English, and the Urban Dictionary entry is neither impressive nor useful in this instance. I think they've just translated the Spanish "por la cara", meaning "as a result of his family connections", into English to impress what they perhaps privately consider to be a rather un-global readership. Any other readings?


Comparatives: Spain vs Yugoslavia

Montenegro's population is only a tenth of that of Catalonia's, but Critilo's conclusion over at ¿Hay derecho? - that the political sovereignty of (new) state(let)s is posited on monetary and economic sovereignty - still deserves a wider audience than the translation suggests.

(On the other hand, Candide, who brings considerable knowledge of the Balkans to bear on Iberian problems, appears to be thoroughly fluent in the English, German, Spanish and Catalan which he uses at this end of the continent, but his voice has not been heard.)


As Pontes' clitoris festival

La Voz de Galicia, the oldest Google source for the story, says that the council of Puentes de García Rodríguez posted the work of Google Translate on its website, but I can't find a screengrab.

As if all those mistranslated greens weren't bad enough, the town's illiterate English Wikipedia entry tells us that:

The town principal sector is the coal power plant and the coalpit run by Endesa. The power plant is the largest in Spain, and its chimney, with 356 meters of height, is the higher construction in the country and the second largest tower in Europe. Besides the municipality has numerous wind farms. The town has three industrial parks.

Only a towering clitoris festival, or claims thereof, can save such a dreadful place.


Brantridge Brantrindge Barntrindge Barntridge: Herbert (Rainford) Towning and the Pujol clan

Four mentions, four spellings in Crónica Global's piece about a British tub in the Pujol clan's money laundry. This dyslexia appears sourced from Antonio Fernández's new book, Pujol & Puig, which mixes the forms "Brantridge" and "Brandtridge".

CG follows the Spanish practice of assuming that foreigners also have two surnames, and refers to "Herbert Arthur Rainford Towning" as "Rainford." In fact I think this individual is probably generally known as Herbert Towning or Herbert Rainford-Towning, and the judicial investigation will be simpler if this is known and digested.

Re an internet marketing scam, the Daily Mail/This Is Money wrote in 2002:

Here, one of the people behind Fast2Net is Herbert Towning. He told me: 'We have about 11,000 website owners in England. When you buy the website, you are linked to a series of merchants who supply various services, depending on which sites you buy.'

So doesn't this mean that if you sign up with Fast2Net, you are immediately in competition with 11,000 people who are already in the same business? The simple answer is yes, but according to Towning this is not as bad as it seems, since there are almost 60 million people in Britain.

Finding Herbert Towning listed as a director of Fast2Net was a real blast from the past for me. More than 20 years ago he was declared bankrupt with debts of millions of pounds after he ran a fringe bank, David Samuel Trust, which collapsed. Another of his companies, casino group Scotia Investments, was the target for a Department of Trade investigation.

More recently, he was active in the US, investing in and speaking in support of a company called International Heritage. More than 150,000 people joined before it collapsed into bankruptcy.

The watchdog Securities & Exchange Commission says International Heritage was nothing more than a huge pyramid scheme, perhaps the biggest America has ever seen.

Our Herbert, a true son of that most glorious and extraordinary of enterprises, British India, seems to have spent most of his life exploiting jurisdictional uncertainty (and perhaps cross-cultural confusion) for financial gain - see e.g. this 1998 EFTA Court case regarding Liechtenstein. It is curious and embarrassing that CG provincialises and belittles as English such a universal man. How about a claim for reputational damage in the Spanish courts?