Ten years or so ago, I sent a personal letter to the Director of the said Rías Baixas Tourist Board, offering to translate all their promotional material for nowt. I never even had the courtesy of a reply. But, anyway, here's how their English material turned out, absent my help. Craply, in a word. Presumably, though, it came with the stamp of approval of whichever of the Director's relatives produced it. For a large fee.I guess Colin's on one of those notoriously lavish CFO pensions, so maybe "for nowt" is short for "at monstrous cost to the British taxpayer".
I think I can understand any Spanish reluctance to entertain Liverpudlians bearing gifts: on the first occasion that the mass distribution of foreign translations of texts graven in stone was tolerated the British and Foreign Bible Society unleashed
a Quaker called George Borrow, an outlandish character of few letters, as simple, gullible and naive as those who emerge with a ladder to receive the Three Kings. (Menéndez y Pelayo, Historia de los heterodoxos españoles)Socialism and the smoking ban were then but a question of time.
I don't get the Three Kings-ladder quip, and it is said that Borrow's translations into Basque and "Gypsy" are laughably poor. Anyone?