Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bilingual Proofreader Needed

The following is from an article titled "In legendary birthplace of coffee, an un-Starbucks" that appeared in the International Herald-Tribune on July 22. The article discusses Starbucks knock-offs in Ethiopia that have unapologetically muscled in on the evil coffee chain's turf:

"At a Kaldi's rival called Le Parisienne there was far more car service than actual café service on a recent afternoon. " (full article)

Le Parisienne?? Pardon me while I cough up my baguette. I expect better from Africa, that vast continent of many French speakers. Le ParisIEN, LA Parisienne!!! This sort of thing reminds me of a local cafe that has been very unfortunately named "El Dolce". At least these "Le Parisienne" people stuck with the same language! "El Dolce" is just wrong on so many levels, least of which being that it is located in a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood.

I also expect better from IHT; it may quickly lose its status as my favorite newspaper if the staff keeps using orthographically challenged places of business as feature article fodder!


Sangroncito said...

I see all sorts of badly translated signs around town (in Spanish) and it drives me crazy! It's like nails against a chalk board. How difficult is it to grab someone fluent in the language and do a quick check for accuracy? Dios me libre.....

Sangroncito said...

Ok, here's the worst offender of sloppy translations on my daily walk. It's a bi-lingual sign on the Mission Station Police Station parking lot. Among other things it says "Restricted Area" and "Area Restricta". The proper translation would be "Area Restringida". Even worse is "this way to business office". Business office is literally translated as "oficina de negocios". While we know that in english business office is a perfectly fine way of expressing the idea of an administrative office, in Spanish tranlating literally gives it an incorrect and also faintly corrupt meaning, given that in Latin America the police often are in "business" (ie. taking bribes!).
The proper translation for business office should be "oficina administrativa". Ok, rant over!

BeckEye said...

And hello back! It's...tres chaud in Pittsburgh, no? Ok, so I only took high school French and can't remember much of it.

But I see you like Ewan. Oui oui. Ooh la la. :)