Lost in translation

I keep forgetting how international this Interweb thing is.

I try to write in a way that most English speaking people can read.  I’m not always successful in that endeavour but fuckit, I try.

It is somewhat strange then to come across references to this place in a language that is quite frankly foreign to me.

One of the sites that links here is Weirdo.  Now it looks interesting but I can’t understand a single word, as it’s all in Welsh.  I always thought that the Welsh language had a particular beauty, but I think it’s a bit late to learn it, considering that I’m still struggling with English.

Recently another site wrote an entire piece about this place, and I haven’t a fucking clue what they are on about as the whole thing is in Russian.  My Russian is [to put put mildly] a tad on the rusty side, and Google Translate isn’t much better, so I’ll just have to hope that what they wrote is reasonably positive. 

I received my first Russian comment the other day.  I’m not counting those ones from people who call themselves “Get a cheap mortgage” or whatever and then try to flatter me into posting their link.  No.  I’m talking about a short succinct comment that was aimed directly at me.  Unfortunately their link was one of those casino sites, so under my rules that does in fact class them as spam.  And what did they say?

“Давай, дедуля жги еще!”

According to Google, that means “Come on, Grandpa still burn!“.  I’m still not quite sure what to make of that.  Maybe something got lost in translation?  Anyway, thanks Max.  I think.

Just out of interest, I tried taking the fist sentence of this scribble and translating it into Russian.  Apparently it is “Я все время забываю, как международные этом межсети вещь.”.  Now that means nothing to me so I translated it back again.  “I keep forgetting how international this interweb thing.”  I’m impressed.  But it has missed out on the last “is” which subtly changes the whole meaning.  In fact it doesn’t really make any sense at all.  So I then wonder what my musings come out as when translated into other languages?

Fuckit.

I think I’ll stick with English.

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Comments

Lost in translation — 11 Comments

  1. i’m often translating from dutch to english..then i run it past my friend who understanding so, translates it to english for me and we compare..often to hularity

    irish to canadian and canadian back i feel we miss but understand, keep at it i love the blog and your opinions et all
     

  2. You can imagine the problems I have with greek!

    It takes hours to work out the electricity bill never mind letters from the council.
     By the way you are  Παππούς should you ever need to know.

  3. I get asked to date beautiful Russian girls, pretty Philipinos (girls, I hope) and other such girls from just about every country in the world, I have no trouble with translation (apart from the exhortations being in English) it says reply to any of these adverts (for want of a better word) and I’ll take you for every penny you have, you idiot.

  4. Forget google translate. Translation software uses algorithms and relies mainly on language usage statistics and word substitution. At its core, automated translation is an attempt to simplify human language and it very seldom, if ever, produces a viable and usable translation. Picking words is not equal to translating

  5. I deal with peoples written english most days. Trying to decypher it is head wrecking.
    They should bring back writing skills in the schools. All this txting shite has wrecked the
    legibility of the written word.

  6. Cat – I didn’t know there was Canadian.  I thought you all spoke American or French?

    Meltemian – I like it!  Should I change the site name to Παππούς?  It might confuse a few people though..  Ah well….

    Patrick – I wonder what the chances are of some stunning young blonde picking an email at random and finding the true love of her life?  Not very high, I would imagine.

    Slab – I could not agree more.  Is it laziness?  Are they trying to be clever?  Or are they really so fucking thick that they think that’s the way to spell words?

  7. Slab

    The phrase about people in glass houses and stone-throwing could be applied to your case.  Let’s look at what you wrote ….

    “I deal with peoples (should be ‘people’s’) written english (should be ‘English’) most days. Trying to decypher (decipher is the more common spelling)  it is head wrecking (this is a colloquialism, and in any event there should be a hyphen between the two words).

    They should bring back writing skills in (should be ‘into’)  the (no need for ‘the’ here) schools. All this txting (‘texting’) shite (colloquialism) has wrecked the legibility of the written word”

    I agree with your point, but surely your writing should reflect it?

  8. “Давай, дедуля жги еще!” means “write more, grandpa!”.
    Don’t know why the author of the comment wrote it in russian, but the comment itself is positive.
    Either me come here from above link of f5, they translated few your tales.
    Since than I just keep reading it. Very like your blog, thanks!

  9. Welcome, Another Max!  Thank you for that translation.  It is a little more sensible than “Come on, Grandpa still burn!” and I am flattered.

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