Katie Price to run language services for Barcelona Council?

The Melonfight Strumpdom of Jordan - more dark-veiled Cotytto in the Daily Mirror photo - has, presumably according to her media pimp, made an insignificant error in a text to some other debauched nonentity, thus distracting the organ of the socialist revival from a more serious task at hand. FT has enquired circumspectly of the Ayuntamiento de Barcelona whether, given their record, they'd be prepared to let her run their translation service, and the answer is a cautious "yes". Now there's a story.

(H/t Warren Edwardes)


Direct action

In all the years (how many?) this blog has existed only one repentant offender has ever got in touch, so it's time for sterner measures. Here's a positive way of coping with those gifts of faux-Anglo clothing that you can't wear out of the front door because the slogan is so shamefully illiterate:

Who said pre-digital copy-editing techniques were redundant?


Blog translated entirely using Google Translate?

For El País user blogs' sole function is to drum up page views for its paid-for content, and not all of them are to be taken entirely seriously. This was rather like listening to a person with dementia who may have something interesting to say but has lost control of words and syntax:

This afternoon they have begun news that have startled me to arise and they have put on in guard man I hoped to eat paella tomorrow Thursday but he/she didn't wait that today gives us a snack to go opening mouth.

I tried asking how and why, partly to see if the whole thing is robot-generated, but the answer left me none the wiser.

How the Babelian tragedy could have been averted

By employing teachers competent in the Original Dialect, and iron-fisted policemen of the Imperial Will, of course. The conservative subversive Ignacio Ruiz Quintano recounts that when Congress decided in around 1936 that schoolchildren should become fluent in French, Wenceslao Fernández Flórez (of whom I've only read El bosque animado) commented that since none of the teachers spoke French they would be forced to make the terrible effort of inventing a language, which none of the children would remember exactly anyway, leading to further deformation. The new-born dialects would inevitably acquire flags, anthems and tax-raising powers, and the empire would duly collapse sometime after lunch on Thursday July 21st 2011, to no great surprise in Rome and Britannia.

Josep Pla liked his farm and told Enrique Badosa that didn't care for provincial-tongued writers (a minority in their own community) learning and using world languages:
Que todo el mundo escriba con la lengua que Dios le ha dado -que ya es bastante difícil, arduo, escribir-. Si lo que dice tiene alguna importancia no será desaprovechado por cierto. Si no lo es tanto, se irá todo al cesto de los papeles, que es lo que sucede, en general, con lo que se escribe en las lenguas de gran radio internacional, en las cuales sucede que por la misma facilidad del idioma vendible, no se escribe más que para el cesto de los papeles, como, por ejemplo, lo que se escribe, las toneladas de papel que escriben cada día en los Estados Unidos. El dominio de una lengua es un fenómeno de minorías y, por tanto, es incompatible con el bilingüismo. Mi bilingüismo, senor Badosa, es una tragedia, pero teniendo en cuenta los años que dura, se ha convertido en una manera de pasar el rato como otra cualquiera, ¡pero no para mí, se entiende! (Maria Aurèlia Capmany, Memoria)

Maybe we'll shortly all have more time to tend our diverse paradisiacal allotments.


New directors of Instituto Cervantes in New York and Dublin "can't speak English"

Javier Rioyo Jambrina and Rosa León will apparently struggle to make themselves understood to their target audience in their new jobs. But then their boss, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has spent the last 7 years demonstrating that you don't need English (or even particularly elegant Spanish) to triumph in the international arena. It surely can't be that hard to find Spaniards with the requisite skills, as long as clan and party requirements are ignored.

[Apologies if you've written in: the backlog will be cleared shortly.]


Gardening glove liner = transatlántico

Here. Forro might have been a better choice. Unfortunately, to be able to demand a sea-going 747 on the basis of trade descriptions legislation I think you might have to demonstrate some intent to deceive.


These wines are aimed at prescribers

Somewhere over the rainbow (p18 to be exact), there's a country where the health system allows doctors to write prescriptions for alcoholic beverages, and where Torres can openly corrupt them with gifts of the same. Either that or Origin Spain is two redundancies in one: a web magazine, written in Spanglish.


Tribuna Barcelona, muttering to itself?

Tribuna Barcelona is the city gerontocracy's Ritz-Palace Hotel-based lunch club, whose invisibility to most belies its belief that it is "the most important opinion forum of Europe" [sic]. Its protocol indicates that an interpreter will not be provided for speakers in Catalan, Spanish, English or French, but the website translation makes one wonder how many visitors stray beyond Barcelona's two native languages, and how many of their audience would understand them if they did. Maybe Xavier Trias will revolutionise Barcelona; maybe one is trying to grasp the wrong flying pig by the tail.

El Palace, as well its well-publicised problems with trademark lawyers, blatantly violates the language laws. Will it soon be getting a visit from the language police, or are the fines only for the poor bloody Pakistanis?

(H/t Candide)