2011/05/21

The English School, Barcelona struggles with English

I liked this bit about the school spelling competition:
Obviously, spelling in our three languages causes problems, but these are gradually overcomed with a high standard being obtained.
The site is full of simple errors, so that the school's claim to offer "a high quality academical, linguistic and cultural education" seems dubious in at least one respect.

(Thanks JD)

boingboing: 17M = 17,000

Ms Jardin:

The demonstrations were not limited to Madrid. Below: 17,000 en Sevilla ... from Antonio Rull's photostream.
One wonders whether the writer may not have rather lost touch with her family name's linguistic heritage, and she's duly outed in comments by hewtwit:
I live around the corner from there in seville (plaza de encarnacion) and it looks from that photo more like there were a few hundred people there, as opposed to 17000! 17M refers to the date (17 mayo) not the attendence!
H/t Charles Butler, who is disappointed that
their platform, rather than being the break with the past that it touts itself to be, is little more than a recycling of the utopian, lowest common denominator and subsidized lunch for everyone theme teleported directly from 1968 - with revealing token bits of modern detritus such as the insistence that the law prohibiting free downloads of copyrighted entertainment be rescinded.
I haven't followed the ley Sinde business at all, but my impression is that if intellectual justification for Somalian-scale piracy of other people's creative endeavours had been sought then it would have been in the French-inspired death-of-the-author school. I believe that the principal culprits, Foucault and Barthes, did quite well out of the royalties, but they're stone-dead in Anglophonia:



However their stars are respectively ascendant and neutral in Hispanophonia:


I suppose this might explain why what seems like tired old ideology to Anglos has a fresh and exciting air to the miniscule numbers of middle class Spanish youth demanding, like the politicians they purport to despise, a meal ticket for life.

2011/05/16

Fresh, Nasty and Well-Balanced in the Mouth

An advert for eating young live crab? Of course not: it's a mistranslated wine label, discovered by the excellent Warren Edwardes. I'm guessing that this is the Casa de la Viña 2010 Chardonnay, whose translated web puff is better, though by no means faultless.

2011/05/12

La Razón doubles body count in Florida deaf mistranslation stabbing

Carlos Ferrero Martín points me to this story about the terrible potential consequences of not matching what is meant and what is understood when drunk-signing with armed gang members. La Razón, never to be outdone, converts two victims into four. Fucked translation: deux points.

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.

2011/05/10

Spanish "forget the housing crash" roadshow

The Dutch economy looks pretty good from just about anywhere at the moment, but I'm pretty sure government departments there still all employ an English native speaker to draft and translate messages aimed at foreigners. The Spanish economy shows few signs of emerging from its hole, but even though central government seems equivocal about reducing costs afaik no similar initiative has been taken here to professionalise relations with the outside world.

Cue José Blanco's housing investor roadshow last week in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Russia. Of course, the minor linguistic errors as well as the continuing rock/hard place quandary of the illegal expat homes scandal were overshadowed by the porkers in the presentation content. But hope springs eternal.

Visit Pontevedra, you can't miss it

From Colin Davies, who I suppose might be prepared to fix Turismo de Pontevedra's problems on an ongoing basis in return for free tapas and the occasional lift home in the mayoral limo. The Galician, on the other hand, looks fine - no tourist added-value there, but still plenty of votes, even in a recession.

[
As is often the case, the English-language icon is half-British, half-American. If you are one of those, do you mind having your flag cut in half? If you carry the passport of one of the 80-odd other countries that have English as their national or official language (including Uganda, where they're debating this week whether to execute homosexuals), do you feel distressed that not one pixel of the icon has been dedicated to your banner? Does this dispose you to take a round-about route to avoid the strategic location that is Pontevedra? Probably not, but the whole { flag = language } navigation business continues to puzzle me.
]

2011/05/08

Ayuntamiento de Jerez bets on tourism ... but can't afford a translator

This is the The Great Guide of Jerez (La gran guía de Jerez), part of an on-going, multi-million-euro campaign that may or may not impact on Jerez's image - in novels I've read - as the ancestral home of the extremely rich and extremely poor, united only in their drunken delinquency and periodic attempts to slaughter one another.

"Everybody is perfectly aware that tourism has turned into the key industry for the development of our economy," writes mayoress Pilar Sánchez Muñoz, which explains why the English translation of the brochureware is crap (even the title is hilarious: Great Wall of China, meet the Great Guide of Jerez), the interface has been left in Spanish, and why she, telly presenter Modesto Barragán, brandy regulator Evaristo Babé, tourism jobsworth Juan Manuel Bermúdez, and agency man Manuel Molina had a celebratory drink afterwards.

How extraordinarily unfair, then, that opinion polls suggest that the descendants of the cast of Blasco Ibáñez's radical romance, La bodega, are about to end PSOE rule and hand an absolute majority on the council to the PP.

(H/t: JR)