2013/09/26

Turismo Rías Baixas rejects an offer to have its appalling promotional materials properly translated for free

Colin's letter to the Galicians:
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?

2013/09/18

Friki (es) -> geek (en)?

That's what Google Translate says. Now, bar fights with statistical algorithms tend to be step-by-step procedures leading to human humiliation, but I think Google Images agrees with me in this case that frikis are gross idiots while geeks are still confused but neat. Here side-by-side are search links and the top three meme trees for the two expressions (there are some interesting comments here too, and Wikipedia has stuff):

friki (hl=es)

geek(hl=en)

No Soy Friki

Friki Face

Friki Granudo

Nerds

Logo

Clipart

2013/09/09

Ana Botella's Olympic presentation with sub-titles

I assume the brown envelopes had all changed hands by the time one of the English teaching industry's slower and lazier students took to the rostrum, but still:
 Many thought that she was working her way through an IPA version of English written by her chauffeur, but I think there's also a hint of a tribute to the early 20th century avant garde:
Amongst reactions the Guardian's man in Madrid demonstrated that simple Spanish is beyond him - "the hashtag #madrid2MILnunca (#Madrid2000andNever)" - so it's not surprising that he got the city's unemployment stats wrong (though perhaps he's confusing national and municipal data).

 Just out of interest, how was Pasqual Maragall's English when the Barcelona bid was won?