Italian Website That Go, Embarrassing English Translation That You Find

If you happen to be someone who teaches translation, especially in Italy, please use this delightful page from the folks at ExpoNews2015 (cured by one Mr. Daniele Walter Sesini of Milan, and to him you can guide a mail at this address:

The title of your lesson should be: STOP USING ITALIAN TRANSLATORS TO TRANSLATE INTO ENGLISH. From there, the thing pretty much teaches itself.

DISCLOSURE: The ExpoNews2015 site is not officially associated with the Milan Expo 2015, though Mr. Sesini has grasped the Expo’s approach to translating publicity materials at one hundred for one hundred. (See, e.g., Meet Cretino! The Expo 2015 Italian-to-English TranslatorExpo 2015 in Milan – La gioia di stare al ribasso! [in English], and Expo 2015 a Milano – La gioia di stare al ribasso! [in italiano] if you need to refresh your memory.)

Let’s walk through some of the best bits.

First, there’s the countdown banner at the top of the page which, at the moment we captured it, read: “Missing the opening: 77 Days, 14 Hours, 40 Minutes, 40 Seconds.” One might say that ExpoNews2015 hasn’t just missed the opening; it’s missed the plot entirely.

Then there’s the headline of the article, which is the kind of thing, if you understand enough Italian to glimpse the original text beneath the failed translation, will give you plenty of bitter rice. “Region that go, project that you find,” it reads. Now, this probably almost worked in Italian because it’s a play on a timeworn saying: “Paese che vai, usanza che trovi.” In a literal sense, the phrase means something along the lines of “every country has its own way of doing things,” but it is usually translated as “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” That captures the heart of it, if not the word-for-word meaning. So what ExpoNews2015 wanted to say was something like, each of Italy’s regions is different and, when you visit them, you should eat, drink, and make merry like the locals.”

Yes, we can think of a much better translation, but you’d have to pay us for that. What we’re doing here, instead, is thanks to a passion entirely handmade by master artisans who pass a secular tradition from generation to generation.

Let’s move on, then, to the “big themes” and the “acceding countries,” landing in the first graph on “food and businesses willing to enlighten Expo 2015.” If they enlightened them about translation, that would be lovely indeed, but we are not hopeful.

In the Emilia-Romagna section, thanks to your ability to read, you’ll notice “thanks to the marketing level,” “thanks to the Internet,” and “thanks to an extensive data base.” That’s a lot of thanking. But mostly what it is, is terrible, schlocky, cliché-ridden Italian marketing prose rendered in word-for-word Technicolor (and, though we admit it’s a close contest, we’d have to say that Italian marketing prose is generally more terrible, more schlocky, and more cliché-ridden even than the English version, which is pretty damn bad),

The truly alarming thing about that paragraph, of course, is the information that “two other [tourism] campaigns are planned … with a general recall in late April near the opening of the event.” Does this mean they know in advance that the campaigns are going to be so bad they’ll have to be recalled in April? But perhaps it’s better to learn that now.

OK, well, just go ahead and read the rest yourself. But be sure not to miss the “initiatives in the area that can intercept and maybe solicit inbound touristic movements” (is the CIA involved? Or just a group of local gastroenterologists?) and the fermentation in Le Marche.

Inglisc is bubbling up everywhere.


Expo2015 – Big themes
Acceding countries
Exhibiting Companies

Region that go, project that you find

Tourism, but not only. From Emilia Romagna to Sardinia, many innovative initiatives related to food and businesses willing to enlighten Expo 2015.

With the imminent start of Expo 2015, many Italian regions have created several projects regarding  both the promotion of their territories and other innovative initiatives related to the food theme, the common denominator around which the Milanese event is centred.


First in line is definitely Emilia Romagna, which, thanks to the marketing level ‘Terre di Romagna’ has launched the online initiative ‘Expo 2015: the Network for the incoming towards Romagna’: 39 tourist packages from 11 travel agencies and the Romagna product Club widespread in 41 foreign countries thanks to the Internet, accompanied by images of towns and territories. Two other campaigns are planned in late February and late March, with a general recall in late April near the opening of the event. Thanks to an extensive data base built in the five years of activity, the aim is to attract buyers, media, journalists and foreigner opinion leaders capturing their attention through the excellence of the territory in all its forms (art, history, food and wine, nature and greenery, sea, spas and fitness). Linked to this is the intention to turn the region into a hub of research and innovation, not only in Europe but also worldwide, on the subject of food through the event ‘World Food research and innovation Forum (WFF)’, scheduled on 22nd  and 23rd  September and linked to the quality and relationship between alimentation and health.


Umbria’s strategy at Expo 2015 aims to take the opportunity at the Milanese event to raise awareness of the territory in Italy and worldwide  and at the same time consolidate and improve its offer and strengthen the institutional, scientific and economic relations with countries representing the target audience. The central Italy region will be the protagonist at the wine pavilion, the direction of which was entrusted to oenologist Riccardo Umbrian Cotarella and the chocolate pavilion thanks to Eurochocolate. The region also plans to develop other initiatives in the outside spaces of Expo, but within the city of Milan and specific initiatives in the area that can intercept and maybe solicit inbound touristic movements. How ‘Umbria green heart of Cascina Triulza’ coordinated by the Food Technology Park which provides a permanent presence for the duration of exhibition of 10 students from agricultural colleges and universities for some guided tours of the ‘orchards’ of the property chosen as a pavilion of Civil Society . Inside the courtyard preparation is expected for the exhibition of photographs by Steve McCurry titled ‘Sensational Umbria’. Also significant is the agreement with the Institute for Foreign Trade, between the foreign Umbria Centre and ‘The house of design’ for the realization of a ‘Project for food-design’ which foresees a space ready to welcome the delegations of International investors in a ‘temporary restaurant’ to present the culinary excellence but also the various regional Umbrian entrepreneurial operating in furnishings, packaging and training.


But from North to South, other realities are in fermentation in view of 1st May. The Marche region has initiated the project ‘La Via delle Marche’ ‘that aims to promote the manufacturing excellence, tourism, culinary and cultural heritage both during the course of the event and with initiatives. It is a well-defined path in the centre of Milan that embraces the ‘quadrilateral of Fashion’ and that has the intention of bringing out all the excellences of Marche in a new way of proposal, allowing itself to be included in the beauty and taste.


Taking advantage of the beauty of the area and culinary excellence, Sardinia has thought of a new initiative by the promotional services Centro for businesses by delegation from the Cagliari Chamber of Commerce. The announcement is called ‘Mediterranean diet and Expo 2015′ and allows the ten selected activities to be part of the national catalogue on specialty foods ‘made in Italy’ that will be presented in the great international showcase. The aim is to tell the world about the high quality Sardinian agricultural production model which can depend on the 180 products certified by European labels PDO, PGI, to open a window not only on the island’s locations but also its traditions, cultures, histories and landscapes.

INVESTMENTS Expo, 100 million Euros for the clusters of emerging countries
SHOPPING Milan and its luxury

COUNTRIES The exhibition spaces delivered in Malta and Montenegro
© NEWS 3.0 S.p.A. via Garofalo 31, 20133 Milano – P.IVA 07122950962

My Thesis Has Already Been Translated Into English …

A letter from a fellow translator:


“So this morning an email arrived from a potential client who wanted help promoting and distributing his book about how ‘mental training’ can improve athletic performance.

“Hardly cutting-edge thought, but OK.

 “He tells me he doesn’t need a translation, though, because his book (which is actually his bachelor’s thesis) has already been translated ‘per bene in inglese’ – that is, well-translated into English.

“Well, sure. Anything is possible. So I went to check out a few samples of this ‘per bene’ translation:

In 2009, after years of sporting success , suddenly , gradually , coming in contact with certain people who were simply amplifying my faults , I began to feel more and more exhaust and I almost disavowed the things I believed in. I did not realise that suggestion and auto-suggestion of group ritual ( spinel , insults, acceptance of many wrong things like the social indifference ) , were encouraging to my detriment some shady characters that made these things daily bread and assertiveness , while I and others were paying the price of it.

 I hope I can convince even one person , ironically , to believe that I had this experience , but I wish they would open a door that will lead many to realize how much strength there is in our thoughts and in those of others.

I tried not to limit myself to an unvarnished list , but I have filled some apparent gaps with a long series of more or less personal considerations which I hope will serve to illuminate from within those who read these pages also to remind myself to those who read and those who decide to apply these methods, what the true origins of sports are , that is those moral and mental , of our people who together with the ancient Greeks has always given important and fundamental contribution to the true and powerful Western culture .

First of all : the 100 billion neurones in our brain mass is not limited to age, every day we can “train” with the methods of mental training , let’s say two hundred fifty – three hundred thousand new neurones .

Someone has shown that over time there will be an analogy between the two thoughts and two actions , even if they are totally different . In practice, the ease of lifting a pen , the mind associates it to a brutal effort .

The example to trigger the mechanism of visualisation, concentration and evocation of the image (for example, the arm can lift a truck before lifting a barbell in the real world ) is “suggestion according to Baptist ” , we must inhale thinking to each of these and the key on and then on or before athletic or as a simple exercise to communicate to familiarise yourself with this practice and believe it, send out the air…. All must be continuous , the thought and the image that you evoke go hand in hand with the breathing and the key “on ” . You can also hold air for a few moments at the end of the movement when you enter the air.

“My question is: What would possess anyone to buy this book in fractured, googletranslated English—not just because the translation is preposterous, but because the ideas are so thoroughly banal and because the topic is amply covered by books written and published in English by native English speakers with more education and training than a guy with a brand-new bachelor’s degree?

“Sometimes, I really don’t understand what has come over Italians.


Yep. Sometimes neither do we. But then we’re shady characters who make amplifying the faults of others our daily bread.

And we’re just sick about it, too. Ironically.

Coesia – They’re No Cima

When it comes to an insistence on Mèd Een Eetaly Inglisc, Italy’s Coesia Group is a particularly egregious offender.

That’s especially alarming when you consider that Coesia is not only one of Italy’s largest software-licensing and
-development companies but is also Microsoft’s official partner in the sale of a large suite of business-specific “solutions” in Italy and throughout Europe.

The “throughout Europe” part explains why Coesia wants English on its own sites and on those of its daughter companies. But it apparently doesn’t really want to pay for skillful native translation.

Here’s a fine example of gobbledygook from Coesia’s subsidiary, CIMA (click on the image to enlarge)

coesia-cimaIt contains in him all those characteristics what nausea and vomiting.

Stop, Italians! Stop Translating!

napes and napkins

Do the Dew in Portavescovo: Part II (WordReference is Shite)

Following up on yesterday’s post regarding “mountain dew” … and this is why we don’t let dictionaries be written by any mooncalf with access to the internet … and this is why we don’t use online dictionaries for professional translation … and this is why some of us are tearing our hair out about the abysmal level of skill among non-native translators….

WordReference - rifugio

Do the Dew in Portavescovo



Update: The WordReference page that’s apparently the source of the widespread diffusion of this error.

Other People’s Inglisc

We know. Tweaking people for the way they talk is just evil.

Our penance will be to write 100 times on the board: “Eet eez rroong to make-a fun ovv udder pipl accent.”



Garofalo Pasta: Whatever They’re Selling, It’s All Maccherone

Following the unbelievably stupid gaffe and resulting public-relations disaster (here and here) created last September by Guido Barilla, CEO of the Barilla Pasta company, tens of thousands of people went looking for another brand of decent pasta (and no, in case you were wondering, not one American manufacturer can lay claim to that description).

garafolo6Some of them no doubt landed on the site of the “Pastificio Lucio Garofalo,” which sells its products via internet as well as through

Our hope is that those who did took one look at the ridiculous English-language translation of Garofalo’s site and adopted the Inferno Solution (that is, “Let us not speak of them: look, and pass on”).

Before we passed on to the next manufacturer, however, we couldn’t help but take a few samples of Garofalo’s Mèd Een Eetaly Inglisc.

Read a few paragraphs of this and you’ll be convinced, as we are, that Garofalo’s only product is maccherone.

Let’s start with Massimo Menna’s heartfelt, um, declaration of his passione for Garofalo’s “Gente del Fud” project. (I’m sure that’s a misspelling. They probably meant Fudd. As in Elmer Fudd.)


We’re also quite fond of this, which we think explains why Naples has suffered so badly from earthquakes over the course of the centuries. Someone really should tell them to stop thatching their roofs with pasta!


But this isn’t bad either, as Garofalo explains how they look for “balance and taste … in front of a pasta dish.” Evidently, Garofalo translates like it eats:


Garofalo Pasta. Quality in absolutely everything. Of course, we still use cut-rate, inexpert, non-native translators. Because that’s just how our artisanal intelligence rolls, bitches.

Agenzie letterarie inesistenti e traduzioni in francese comm se nient’al fuss

Ripubblicato dal blog “Stranoforte.”


Oggi voglio parlarvi di una nuova, fantastica, realtà: la INNEDE Edition, che si presenta come “agenzia letteraria multimediale”.

Per prima cosa c’è da dire che non esiste alcuna attività commerciale denominata INNEDE Edition, ma non sottilizziamo, visto che c’è un bellissimo sito in più lingue. Se casualmente vi capita di cliccare sull’icona che permette di accedere alla versione francese, preparatevi: vi si potrebbero prima drizzare i capelli e poi cadere le braccia. Ci sono errori talmente gravi che se li vedesse la mia professoressa del liceo piangerebbe per settimane e Carla Bruni sporgerebbe querela. Poi però ho capito il perché, infatti si precisa: “I traduttori che collaborano con noi sono tutti professionisti perfettamente bilingui che traducono esclusivamente verso la loro lingua madre. Le traduzioni vengono effettuate manualmente con l’ausilio di software di traduzione assistita e in nessun caso da software di traduzione automatica.” Capito? Traducono manualmente con i traduttori elettronici (a pagamento, ovvio), ora potete capire il perché di quel francese che nemmeno Totò e Peppino a Milano. Immaginatevi il figurone che potreste fare affidandovi a loro.

Comunque, volendo, si può partecipare al “corso gratuito per traduzioni” al modico prezzo di 45 euri (è uno di quei corsi che se paghi puoi partecipare gratis).

Invece se proprio volete imparare a usare un software automatico, cliccate qui: “Innede Edition ha disposto un corso online per traduttori e autori che vogliono tradurre con software automatici oppure di EDITING” (si pagano solo le spese di segreteria – segreteria che esiste, nonostante l’agenzia letteraria sia inesistente -, in questo caso si pagano solo 15 euro). Sublime. Immaginatevi un editing fatto con cotali metodologie.

Va be’, vediamo il catalogo.

Ohibò, ma c’è da stropicciarsi gli occhi! Ci sono solo opere di un unico scrittore! Tutte opere rigorosamente senza ISBN, ma sorvoliamo (sorvoliamo anche sull’introduzione in francese maccheronico di una di esse, forse siamo in presenza di neolingue create da sistemi automatici).

Troviamo anche un servizio di creazione di siti web. In effetti, vedendo il loro sito, si capisce al volo la cura che impiegheranno nel creare quello dei loro clienti. Che dire delle immagini che appaiono sulle varie pagine? A che servono? Boh, però ci stan bene (stemmi di varie università e cose varie assortite). E come commentare il fatto che ogni pagina è priva di un qualsiasi tasto per tornare alla home, oppure che cliccando su “staff” si plana dritti dritti nella pagina dei libri?

Fidatevi, questi vi faranno un sito da urlo.

Anche se la INNEDE non esiste come attività, il sior responsabile ha disseminato il web di annunci di lavoro, eccone qualcuno, ma se guggolate un po’ ne trovate a migliaia:

Cercasi aspiranti o emergenti autori, laureandi, scrittori di narrativa, saggistica, poesia o romanzi (su kit lavoro);

Cercasi aspiranti o emergenti autori, laureandi, scrittori di narrativa, saggistica, poesia o romanzi, a tempo determinato e con giornata lavorativa completa (su infojobs);

Cercasi aspiranti autori, laureandi, scrittori di narrativi, saggistica o romanzi. Inviare dettagliato curriculum con retribuzione;

insomma tantissime fantastiche opportunità, come non aderire?

Ma chi gestisce tutto questo apparato? Presumo il signor autore dei libri –  che è anche un gastronomo – messi in vendita su questo sito. Un eclettico, non c’è che dire.

Poi c’è anche chi è laureato al NORDIC INSTITUT BANGKOK. Ora, andando su google scopriamo che tale istituto non esiste, al più esiste un “nordic institute”, ma va ben, magari a Bangkok ci sono fior di scuole che noi ce le sogniamo.

Ah, dimenticavo. Questo sito offre anche “un corso di editing” (che ve lo rifilano gratis se pagate 15 euro). Ecco una magnifica sintesi di cosa, il sior gestore, intende per editing: L’EDITING è un metodo di presentazione che aiuta a fare una buona impressione all’editore che dovrà leggere il vostro manoscritto” (ecco, sì, affidiamoci a loro, e la bella figura sarà assicurata).

Oltretutto nel corso si parlerà anche di scrittura passiva e io sarei tanto curioso di sapere cos’è.

Maurizio Cosimo Ortuso & Innede: A Pirla before Swine

*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 (, 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?,,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,619 other followers