Corriere della Sera, Paola Cacace, e il traduttore “INcacace”
March 14, 2016 Leave a comment
At the end of Paola Cacace’s Inglisc translation of Raffaele Nespoli’s article about an Italian professor of dentistry who has “made good” in Toronto, there’s a little interactive graphic that’s supposed to help readers feel involved:
It reads, “Now that I’ve read this article, I feel …”
Unfortunately, there’s a button missing.
Why oh why do Italian newspapers continue to insist on English-language “translators” who are neither native speakers nor capable of exercising the profession?
That was a rhetorical question.
The English in Cacace’s “translation” is pitiful, shabby, macaronic, embarrassing, amateur … one very nearly risks coming to the end of all the adjectives that mean “a botched job.”
Let us start with “He born in Vico Equense and a life spent in Castellammare di Stabia.” Clearly, that is not a complete sentence in English, nor does that horrifying “he born in” belong to the English verb system (in English the verb is “to be born”; in Italian, it’s nascere). First-year English students struggle with that difference, but once they’d reached the point of signing translations, one would hope they’d have gotten beyond it.
More to the point: This sentence would stand in Italian because Italians love sentence fragments (or, as they call them, sentences). One of the first things an IT>EN translator struggles with is providing subjects, verbs, and objects for all those phrases which, in Italian, go on their merry way without them.
Then there’s “Doctorate and specialization in orthodontics obtained at Federico II, and different experiences in university departments of the most prestigious foreign universities.” Another sentence fragment in English.
“At 25 he goes for a year at the Department of Functional Anatomy of ACTA…. In 2014, aged 32, he decided to leave Italy for good.” Right, because what use were verb tenses when you will think about it?
“Iacopo knows that the workplace should never feel as you’ve made it.” Yes, but does Iacopo know that this sentence doesn’t mean anything in English?
Cioffi complains about the “transports that do not work” in Naples. What this is called in English is “public transportation.” No one says “transports” unless the phrase concludes, “of ecstasy.”
“There are many excellences,” Cioffi opines at another point. There may well be, but one of them isn’t Paola Cacace’s skill as a translator.
Apparently we need to say it again: Stop it. Capable, talented IT>EN translators exist. All you have to do is look for them, presuming you’re even minimally “cacace.”
Here’s the whole article. Enjoy?
FROM ITALY TO CANADA
The youngest professor of Toronto university is an Italian
Iacopo Cioffi, 33 years old: «At the University of Toronto I’ve found my dimension.
Italy at the moment is not a fertile ground for researchers»
He is 33 years old; he has a wife and a child of three. His record? To be the youngest professor of the Faculty of Dentistry in the largest and most authoritative Canadian university, the University of Toronto, ranked as one of the twenty most prestigious universities in the world.
The journey of “Corriere del Mezzogiorno” in search of the young talents that Campania lets slip away continues with the story of Iacopo Cioffi, who has already been in Canada for nearly a year and deals with orofacial pain, malocclusion and orthodontics.
He born in Vico Equense and a life spent in Castellammare di Stabia. Leaving was the only choice for Cioffi, like for many bright young people who grew up in the shadow of Vesuvius.
“There is not a specific event – he explains – that has led me to leave. When you begin to realize that your efforts will not be able to contribute effectively to your future career, you start thinking of leaving. In the Italian University, unfortunately, the more you want to change, the more things stay as they are. Then the daily issues, such as lack of services, which in the province assumes an extreme aspect: minimum services, almost non-existent, and taxes that reach more than 40% of salary”.
Added to this are the daily problems. “My daughter – Iacopo says bitterly – has learned to walk between garbage bags and cars parked with two wheels, and sometimes even all four, on the sidewalk. And then you ask yourself: is this normal? It’s not”. A brilliant academic career has led this young professor in Canada. Doctorate and specialization in orthodontics obtained at Federico II, and different experiences in university departments of the most prestigious foreign universities. At 25 he goes for a year at the Department of Functional Anatomy of ACTA, University of Amsterdam, then to the University of Zurich in 2009. In 2014, aged 32, he decided to leave Italy for good.
Iacopo knows that the workplace should never feel as you’ve made it. His rule is “always learn, study, grow up quickly, to experience, and above all try to sow a fertile ground to achieve results.
“Unluckily – he says – Italy at the moment is not fertile ground for young researchers who have ideas and desire to grow. And if you look at the statistics critically and rationally, it does not seem that the situation is improving. Then when you are young parents, and think about the future of your children, everything is amplified”. Despite the bitterness of the vicissitudes that his land every day survives, Iacopo Cioffi keeps Campania in the heart. And in Toronto it is the first sponsor of the University “made in Naples”
“In Naples, the University is full of guys who have a gigantic desire to work. There are many excellences. Most of the students want to do and participate in the research activities immediately after having taken the first steps in the degree course. It ‘a huge resource that we don’t have here either. It’s a true treasure to have so many students keen to do good”.
Being Neapolitan for Iacopo has been an advantage. “My colleagues in Toronto – he says – think highly of me, almost everyone knows Naples. Many have been there. They speak of the great beauty of the city and the Gulf. And many of them want to come back to be kissed by the sun of our land. Here in Toronto it is often cold. Now we are at –24 ° Celsius. What I really do not understand are the great inconsistencies and contrasts of our land. Beautiful landscapes, history, monuments, passion and food on the one hand. On the other side: organized crime, unemployment, dirt, transports that do not work. And they ask me how is this possible. The truth is that I would like to give an answer, as I think all”. (traduzione di Paola Cacace)