The Gallery of Wrongness
July 8, 2010 Leave a comment
: English Abused Here! :
The “Hall of Shame” is an idiosyncratic listing of “translated” web sites in which English is beaten viciously about the head and shoulders. In almost every case (and, surely, it’s no more than a coincidence), the “translators” have forgotten to sign their work.
(1) Education Bookcost.net ⁞ Report Card: F- ⁞ This site’s most incomprehensible feature is not the mess it makes of English, but the fact that someone continues to post stories there. Virtually all of them reference events in the English-speaking world, which means the site’s authors could simply have mirrored or republished stories from English-language sources. Instead, they chose to “translate” them from an unknown language into the unknown language used on Bookcost.net. If the logic escapes you as well, drop the mysteriously anonymous bloggers a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. [See screen captures here and a shocking revelation by an international soccer star here.
(2) Tuscany-Charming ⁞ Report Card: F ⁞ For the last several years, Tuscany-Charming has always been good for a laugh. One of my favorite “Inglisc” translations is their description of the “Coast of the Etruscans,” where “it is happened that the erosion of the wind has had resulted everything anything else other than homogeneous.” That’s practically poetry.
(3) Arma dei Carabinieri/Italian Ministry of Defense ⁞ Report Card: C- | Here’s a good example of a site that probably didn’t need to be translated in the first place. Even if a compelling reason existed for the site to be available in English (as well as French, Spanish, and German), this translation is more embarrassing than illuminating. Still, perhaps someone may find it useful to read that “This organization is made up of departments dedicated to highly specialized tasks which are handled either in order of priority or exclusively as a support function for the territorial organization and reports to Carabinieri Specialist Mobile Unit Command “Palidoro” which is based in Rome and divided into (1) Mobile Unit Division located in Rome on whom the following entities depend….” [Zzzzzzz.]
(4) Beppe Grillo ⁞ Report Card: C- ⁞ Beppe Grillo is a muckraker, comedian, writer, and general thorn in the side of the Italian political caste. He’s Italy’s answer to Michael Moore, and I adore him. But his English-language site is disgraceful. True, translating Beppe’s irony, sarcasm, and sardonic humor would be a challenge for the best translator, but Grillo isn’t using the best translators. He’s also quite clearly not using native English speakers. If he chooses to let Italian students practice their English on his blog for (I devoutly hope) free, I suppose that’s his business. I can’t help but be convinced, though, that Grillo is shooting himself in the foot by allowing prose like this (116 words in a single, incomprehensible sentence) to appear on his site: “But there are not just those “ad aziendam” mess-ups, there are also “ad personam” mess-ups for Berlusconi and his friends, who have had the opportunity to avoid the most severe of the penalties not only thanks to the laws that Berlusconi and his friends did for themselves during his three periods in government, but everyone forgets the laws that the Centre Left did in favour of Berlusconi, when the Centre Left did a favour for the caste, but above all a favour for Berlusconi, when the Centre Left was in government and had the Majority, that was between 1996, rather that is between 1995 with the Dini government and 2001 and then between 2006 and 2008.”