*Per i nostri lettori italiani: Lo stesso argomento è benissimamente trattato qui o qui, sul blog Stranoforte.
Having discovered the so-called writer, Maurizio Cosimo Ortuso, and his so-called publishing company and “literary agency,” Innede (an enterprise that puts the “vanity” in “vanity publishing”), Inglisc: Mèd Een Eetaly can almost retire. It’s difficult to believe we’ll ever find another example of such utter linguistic incompetence combined with such scorching self-importance. (Though that doesn’t mean we won’t keep trying.)
In fact, Mèd Een Eetaly held off for a while before publishing this report because we were nearly convinced that Innede was an elaborate satire of Italian megalomania and distaste for actual substance and quality. It isn’t.
So far, apparently, no writer in Hollywood has succeeded in pitching a sitcom based on the life of a translator. But that’s OK. In the meantime, we have Signor Ortuso (unless it’s “Ottuso” and the “r” is a typo). If you’re a translator, there are hours of free entertainment to be had on his elaborate website, in which no more than three words are ever strung together without an error.
In every language! Including his own, which is allegedly Italian. But Sig. Ortuso is plurilingual. In fact, according to his Facebook profile (https://www.facebook.com/maurizio.ortuso), he speaks SEVEN languages. Come on; you know that’s impressive. His languages are: “English, Svenska, Spanish, Italian, French, French, and Français.”
But let’s get to the Innede site, which is where the real giggles lie. Really, though, we can’t even begin to do justice to this encyclopedic collection of fatuous howlers and gratuitous idiocy. You’ll just have to go take a look yourself. Choose any page at random. It’ll be inept, Google-translated, incoherent, and self-aggrandizing to the point at which poverty of intellect meets massive incompetence.
(Don’t worry, we’ve saved a few of the best screen shots, about which more later, in case Sig. Ortuso has an attack of shame. He seems beyond shame, so we don’t think that’s likely. But just in case.)
OK, so here’s our favorite. On the “Inglisc” version of his site, in which Sig. Ortuso promises that his “staff” can translate to and from “every language in the world” (if there’s one phrase that every shyster puts on his site, that’s it), he helpfully explains that the cost of a translation is based on the number of wisecracks in the text. (If that’s the case, this post alone is going to be worth a couple thou.)
Yes, wisecracks. Why? Because in Italian, the cost of translation is based upon the number of battute or keystrokes. But it’s true; battuta can also mean a joke or wisecrack. Typically, somewhere between 1500 and 2000 keystrokes constitute a cartella or editorial page, which Sig. Ortuso calls a briefcase (another borrow translation that didn’t work out). So, to sum up: If you want to know what a translation will cost, you’ll need to figure out how many briefcases will be required to hold the number of wisecracks in your text.
Only a dolt could make this kind of error, which a “professional” who spoke “seven” languages, including English, English, and Anglais, might be expected to catch. Learn more about the “card of reading” on the “Modalità” page.
Perhaps Sig. Ortuso was too busy “adequately translat[ing] and optimis[ing] the texts both of books and of sites web in such way to favor and to consolidate her own presence in the world” to pay attention to the error. Just working on “sites web” and placing “codes ISBN” can take up a lot of your time.
Then there’s the page on which he brags about his “publishing company’s” production of ebooks. This is another one where you really need to see the whole page (which is here), but you can get the flavor of the thing from the opening lines, in which Sig. Ortuso talks about how manuscripts are evaluated: “If your work is judged of our interest, we contact you to appraise together its typologies of publication: version e-Book, version Average-Book, e/o papery version.”
At Mèd Een Eetaly, we still tend to prefer the papery version, but it’s certainly true that far too many Average-Books are being published these days. A lot of them by Innede.
This is probably as good a place as any to point out that one of Innede’s many “books” (amazingly enough, they are almost all by Sig. Ortuso’s — he’s as prolific as a retrovirus) is called, in Italian, La Meritocrazia: Quella Che Non C’è. There’s a lot of talk in Italy about how getting ahead in one’s profession is so rarely based on merit, talent, or individual ability or achievement. Rather, what tends to count are connections, insider information, and “good words” from a well-placed friend. So we might translate the title as something like Merit: The Missing Factor.
Which, when you think about it, would be a great title for Sig. Ortuso’s entire enterprise.
Let’s close with the page on which Sig. Ortuso gives advice to would-be writers. (Again, the entire page is a work of anti-art, so take a look here.)
Clearly, Sig. Ortuso has poured his heart into this, and no doubt it reflects the personal philosophy that gives him the colossal gall to pass himself off as a professional writer, translator, and publisher and ask people to give him actual money for his hack work. He says,
In whatever sector you develop him your creativeness, some people they will detest what fairies and others will love it…. Feedback can help us to improve, but you can also insert us in black hole from which we risk not to go out.
Mèd Een Eetaly will be meeting this week with some physicists (and some fairies) we know. If there’s any possibility at all of creating a black hole from which Mr. Ortuso and his insulting “literary agency,” Innede, could risk not to go out, tell it you about we will.
Meanwhile, you might wonder whether Stockholm University, whose logo Sig. Ortuso apparently copied directly from Wikipedia, knows that it is an official sponsor of Sig. Ortuso’s nonsense. Or whether the People’s University of Stockholm, where university records indicate that Sig. Ortuso taught one single 20-hour course in 2003 for beginning students in Italian, knows that he brags about having taught there “for many years.”
But Sig. Ortuso can certainly explain all that. Why not write and ask him to try? firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.