Someone kindly sent in an example of bad translation into Spanish which is thus officially off-topic but so interesting and amusing that it deserves inclusion. It's from La copa de Verlaine, a collection of Madrilenian sketches by fellow-decadent Emilio Carrere, discovered and described at "Bremaneur"'s excellent Biblioteca fantasma. In "Elegía de un hombre inverosímil" we meet Forondo, a “dire translator” with a “thick multicolour beard” who fails to appreciate the gravity of the author's Bohemian representations and whose translations, presumably from the French, apparently include such gems as
The latter is straightforward, but the wit of the former eludes me. Any ideas?
- “El pobre pequeño niño sacó su muestrecita. Eran once horas sonadas”; and
- “El desconocido llevaba un pantalón corto y una capa del mismo color”.