2010/04/13

"The stranger wore short trousers and a cloak of the same colour"

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
  • “El pobre pequeño niño sacó su muestrecita. Eran once horas sonadas”; and
  • “El desconocido llevaba un pantalón corto y una capa del mismo color”.
The latter is straightforward, but the wit of the former eludes me. Any ideas?

No comments: