Italian notices that become lost in translation

Rosie Staal

A fine example of the art of non-translation from Italian to English, seen in the southern Sicilian town of Noto. A fine example of the art of non-translation from Italian to English, seen in the southern Sicilian town of Noto.

Information boards in Italy rarely illuminate but they do serve as a showcase for reams of flowery Italian and as many paragraphs of impenetrable English translation. I use that word loosely. The challenge is to read them and not double up with laughter.

I have a theory about how these translations come about. They are the dastardly work of someone who has responded to a cry across a crowded office for help. ‘Hey, anyone know any English? Give me a hand with this.’ (That’s a rough translation of the original.)

The courageous person who steps up is confident they have a command of the English language good enough to turn dense Italian prose into the sort of language that the English-speaking world can recognise. This is meritorious, in its way…

View original post 84 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s