More revenge translation: "Estas redes no hay ningun danõ aves de Internacional Conservado Investigación"


Via secret agent Eva of Muñoz & Malpaso.

(Este trabajo es Licencia por la Espanol Ministerio de Agricultura Pesco Alementacion. POR FAVOR NO METERSE CON LAS REDES HO LOS AVES. Firmado, El Cutre Inglés.)


Revenge translations: take English seriously or face comprehensive linguistic destruction

I believe that only two bodies criticised here have ever responded: one rapidly fixed the problem and went out of business; Alejandro Villén@Loving Books indicated that he'd continue to sell his pile of poo, and is probably doing very nicely. And I doubt very much that any of the rest gives a monkey's. It's time to get tough.

Unless things improve rapidly, starting on April 1st Fucked Translation will activate a global network of sleeper linguists. These lethal and dedicated professionals - driven to despair by decades of half-witted customer queries and 12-month payment delays on negligible invoices - will produce defective writing and translation in Spanish on such a scale as to, where applicable, reduce Hispanophonia to the level of Gary Larson's famous dogs:

Furthermore, Spanish speakers will come to think they are talking Italian.

Here, from Tintin's favourite château, is a preview of the chaos that awaits.

And here's a simple Pac-man vs monster representation (küchen with thanks to MM):

Perhaps someone would like to update this bit of my favourite romance to reflect the above threats:

vn moro tras un almena
començole de fablar
vete el Rey fernando
no quieras aqui envernar
que los frios deſta tierra
no los podras comportar
pan tenemos por diez años
mil vacas para ſalar
veinte mil moros ay dentro
todos de armas tomar
ocho çientos de cavallo
para el eſcaramuçar
ſiete caudillos tenemos
tan buenos como rroldan
y juramento tienen fecho
antes morir que ſe dar

What's special about it? Unlike most, it places you in a historically identifiable time and place; the practical details (salting the meat) give a particular sense of verisimilitude; unusually the Moor has the last word; the alexandrines are easy, even for someone who's never recited in Spanish before; the vocabulary isn't too complicated; and it's short enough that you declaim all of it from the steps of the church in Santa Fe del Penedés, facing Granada on the hill, and make a getaway before the police arrive.



Dead letters

ABC and Ramón Pérez Maura are taken to task by Peter Harvey Linguist. As usual, he's absolutely right, but I'd just like to enter a plea in mitigation on one count: "never begin a letter with 'I'" used to be quite common advice. For example, in Correspondence, credits and traffic: Part I: Business correspondence (1914) we learn that

One of the maxims of courtesy in former days [!] used to be "Never begin a letter with I." This is no longer regarded as a strict rule. Indeed, there are times when its observance results in awkwardness of expression.

And the injunction may still be in force in Nigeria, surely the great epistolary nation of our time. Maybe ABC - I don't think they'll sue if I describe them as conservative - plan to specialise in the diffusion of foreign languages as they were once spoke and writ. Pérez Maura, one of their younger writers, recently celebrated his 157th birthday.

(I understand that Merkel resents Mas' deficit-busting use of postage stamps instead of email, but don't let that blight your happy new year.)


Few tea, Ziad Fazah, the man who doesn't speak 59 languages, and the teaching of grammar etc.

Here, < Dick Hudson < again < Language Log.

Your stammering linguistic runt of a host thinks they're all wrong, and recommmends self-inflicted deep-vein trepanning as an alternative preferable to sentence diagramming taught by the hairy-palmed spawn of teacher training colleges. SD's rather like warfare: a discipline that sometimes occurs to the old as beneficial for the young.

In his view it's all about consuming and producing in a loving (i.e. generally extra-mural) context, given sufficient native intelligence.

The Orgasmus programme is the only notable success of the European Union, and a junior edition should be introduced, incentivising secondary schoolers to Roma (probably < Sanskrit ḍomba lower-caste person working as a wandering musician) the farthest reaches of the superstate in search of talented pillow dictionaries.