The Gallery of Wrongness – Page 13: The Castello di Duino/Università di Trieste “Worldwide” Poetry Competition

Like most of you, I’ve known since at least 6th grade that we get into big trouble when we assume.

Such as, for example, when we assume that the organizers of a “major” and “international” conference on the translation of poetry would translate their website into decent English.

Or when we assume that the event’s co-sponsor, the professional interpreting and translation program of a major Italian university (the Università di Trieste Scuola Superiore di Lingue per Interpreti e Traduttori) would want to ensure that materials involving its name (and reputation) would be something other than a plate of warmed-over maccherone.

Or even when we assume that the writer/translator of the Castello di Duino “International Poetry Competition” announcement (obviously operating in second-language English) would at least ask a native-speaking editor to revise the text, if only to avoid the embarrassment of errors like “crativity,” “responible,” and “21th March”; the cacophonous phrasing (meaning “sounding like caca”) of such gems as as “students … attended to the workshop”; and the moronic gobbledygook of “the speakers called the attention on the creative «work» of the poetic word along the passage from a language to another language and through the contamination between different semantic and expressive fields.”

Yeah, there’s contamination going on, but it isn’t in the semantic fields.

I haven’t even mentioned, by the way, the sentences without verbs or the commas marooned between inexplicable blank spaces.

All of which leads us to the age-old questions: Why aren’t Italians ashamed to write in or translate into English that ought to embarrass them? Why aren’t people who supposedly have something to say about “professional” translation so unprofessional? Why do Italians like Chiara De Luca and Claudia Azzola, who make their livings from translation, participate in initiatives in which English is despised and scorned?

I the answers do not them have.

In the meantime, enjoy (so to speak). Ecce mess.

2 Responses to The Gallery of Wrongness – Page 13: The Castello di Duino/Università di Trieste “Worldwide” Poetry Competition

  1. dlg says:


  2. Shame, yes. Surprise, no. Particularly if Chiara De Luca – founder of the ‘casa editirce (sic) Kolibris – is involved.

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