2011/05/12

Quixote and communication failure in the EU

Looby, the thinking, drinking man's Bridget Jones/Helen Fielding, links at FB to something now being called "Anglo-EU Translation Guide", although previous incarnations were said to be Anglo-Dutch. Sundry losers imply this to have been invented by themselves or their friends, but it's been bottling anonymously in the Dead Sea of Email for quite some years now - see the excellent piece by Charlemagne@Economist way back in 2004.

Jokes and complaints about the translation vulgar bureaucratese have presumably been around ever since lawyers emerged, blind and grasping, from Satan's arse in the Babelian sewer. Quixote's comments during his visit to a Barcelona printer are probably the classic oldie:
[M]e parece que el traducir de una lengua en otra, como no sea de las reinas de las lenguas, griega y latina, es como quien mira los tapices flamencos por el revés, que aunque se veen las figuras, son llenas de hilos que las escurecen y no se veen con la lisura y tez de la haz; y el traducir de lenguas fáciles ni arguye ingenio ni elocución, como no le arguye el que traslada ni el que copia un papel de otro papel. Y no por esto quiero inferir que no sea loable este ejercicio del traducir, porque en otras cosas peores se podría ocupar el hombre y que menos provecho le trujesen.
Our lords and masters will bear this in mind, of course.

3 comments:

A Nun said...

What's funny about the British is that they think they speak the new Latin.

Tom said...

What, Welsh?

kalebeul said...

As in, looks and sounds pretty but buggered if I know what it means?