The Gallery of Wrongness – Page 20: To Laugh with Irony from the Beginning till the End: La Freccia, Trenitalia’s Onboard Magazine in Inglisce
Kudos to Lorenza Perino, Trenitalia’s “tradutrix,” for having the nerve to put her actual name on the steaming pile of maccheroni that she served up in the January 2013 issue of Trenitalia’s monthly magazine, La Freccia, distributed on the high-speed train, the Freccia Rossa.
In case it isn’t clear, these are summaries in “English” that are meant to accompany articles and publicity written in Italian. They’re supposed to give the flavor of the article to non-Italian speakers, though in most cases the flavor is somewhere between unappetizing and putrid. Check it out:
- Drinks and meals served at seat….
- Interviewing Francesco Tristano, pianoforte expert and protagonist in techno clubs….
- The last months of Abramo Lincoln’s life…. [Abramo?]
- 120 masterpieces by one of the most renowned protagonist of the 19th century in Europe. Some of which unknown to critics and others absent from Italy long since….
- To laugh with irony from the beginning till the end, with schizophrenic and disturbing characters….
- Famous jazz-style pop hits, thanks to excellent great featuring….
- The Made in Italy is on top of international collecting desires and sells like crazy in London and American auctions….
- Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane recommends paying attention when purchasing tickets and looking after luggage for the possible presence of unlicensed sellers and bag snatchers…. [Pay no attention whatever to the licensed bag snatchers.]
- The notes of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will envelop during the whole 2013 the most beautiful and enchanting places in Florence…..
- Two women bearing the same name, Charlotte, whose lives are united by the disappearance of a famous pr during a night in New York….
- A path showing the artist’s polymorph and coloured personality….
- At Abele for the renown risotto milanese and Alvin’s for brioches and quality sweets…. [It’s a restaurant. Called “Da Abele.” Get it?]
- For lovers of unusual and old things from another time, Padova offers many traditional street markets in the town centre….
- Keira Knightley reveals herself to La Freccia magazine…. [Is this La Freccia or is it Penthouse?]
- The new Porta Susa HS station will be inaugurated on 14th January … [and] will become the Frecce station in the city of the Mole…. [She means the Mole Antonelliana, arguably Turin’s most famous architectural landmark. A “mole” is a massive or stately building; small, burrowing mammals have nothing to do with it.]
and the one that got us started on this joyride:
- Les Misérables, the much awaited in Italian theatres record musical. The “last” are still the protagonists in the new popular epic of the extraordinary worthy of an Oscar Tom Hooper.
Dear Ms. Perino:
- Please learn the concept of a complete sentence in English;
- Please develop a list of synonyms for “protagonista” (one of Italian publicity’s most over-used words) and stop translating it with “protagonist,” which we essentially never use unless we’re talking about Greek drama);
- Please figure out that “pr” as a noun is meaningless in English (a “pierre” in Italian is a public-relations consultant; in English such a consultant engages in public relations but isn’t called a “pr”);
- Please get a clue that names of restaurants don’t need to be translated (though it’s kind of amusing to imagine some poor tourist wandering around Milan asking for directions to “At Abele” — “Attabelle? Attabelle? Ma che cavolo dici?“).
If you can do those things, you’ll still be a bad translator, but at least you won’t be a totally embarrassing one.
La Freccia‘s entire editorial staff, meanwhile, deserves a nice, edifying round of “¿Quién es Más Pirla?”:
- Direttore Responsabile Federico Fabretti
- Capo Redattore Claudia Frattini
- In Redazione: Luigi Cipriani
- Caposervizio Silvia Del Vecchio
- Coordinamento Editoriale Cecilia Morrico
- Stefano Ebner (sceneggiatura e testi)
Please write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you saw it here first.