2011/01/21

With a FROB in the throat: but what's wrong with moderately fucked translation?

At a crucial moment in Spain's fortunes, the bank restructuring fund (Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria, FROB) has come up with a lousily translated Powerpoint (h/t) explaining what's being done.

But anyone with half a brain can figure out what they're trying to say (partly because it's so bland, and unrevealing of the crucial numbers), so its linguistic errors will disturb translators rather than investors. That's not because the former necessarily suffer any cephalic deficit, but rather because I think they tend to emphasise guild over client interests.

I suppose that in some circumstances a fucked translation might be preferable to a fixed one, being closer to the horse's mouth. Two interesting cases spring sprightly to mind: Schoenberg's great unfinished opera, Moses und Aron; and Cervantes' and Motteux's Quijote, with Motteux lurking between three languages.

2011/01/19

Weeding planner

Conjugal Bliss, or You Always Hurt The One You Love. It's a interlingual malapropism, but let's swing with it.

For anyone contemplating a musical career in Spain, the site contains encouraging evidence: apparently this kind of thing works out at €800/hr. For anyone contemplating marriage here, do consider flying in geezers.

2011/01/14

"Sonatrach is studying all options in case BP decided to sell its assets for another party"

Does this recent MedGaz pipeline story mean we're about to see more headlines like Swedish BP chairman 'whisked married lover on luxury cruise as oil spill chaos erupted' and Gulf Oil Spill: Tony Hayward Attends Glitzy Yacht Race As Oil Spews Into Gulf? BP: from British Petroleum to Barbarian Pissheads?

The article reports the words of Yusuf Yusufi, Energy Minister in the Algerian government, which like all Western Mediterranean governments except inbred Malta is going to be hard put to avert the tumbrils in 2011. His "in the End of 2010" launchdate for the pipeline might have been more credible had MedGaz said something along similar lines - they've issued no press statements since December 2009. News three weeks previously that the European Investment Bank has given in to blackmail a loan of €500M for the construction of this very pipeline doesn't exactly add to one's confidence either, whatever course the Maghreb revolution takes. I must say that I have always regarded Russia as a model democracy. Can I pick up canisters from the consulate?

2011/01/10

TheReader.es: the make, mannequin and year of registration of the automobile

At least when the Guardian rips off Spanish publications it doesn't rely on MT for the end result.

I don't think this unattributed story over at TheReader.es is plagiarised word-for-word, but rather that a Spanish speaker has made minor modifications, in Spanish, to a piece found elsewhere and then hit Google Translate for that authentic touch. A crash dummy story in several ways.

Much of the site appears to operate on this principle, leading to worn delights such as "Jordi, the octogenarian in impeach," and "He appealed against his crook condemn."

Life is hard at the moment, but is it harder for entrepreneurs or for their hapless readers?

(Thanks to A Nun)

So what did Gabrielle Giffords say to Jared Loughner in Spanish?

The WSJ re the 2007 meeting:

Mr. Loughner said he asked the lawmaker, "How do you know words mean anything?" recalled Mr. Montanaro. He said Mr. Loughner was "aggravated" when Ms. Giffords, after pausing for a couple of seconds, "responded to him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting."

So what got his goat? Did she say something derogatory about deconstructionism, Sarah Palin's secret grammatical strategy for world domination? Or was it more like, "Hey man, get a translator"?