Garbage in, garbage out

I once read that translating a passage into a foreign language can be an excellent test of how well you understand that passage.

Something tells me that the following (from the Macedonian Press Agency) made no sense in the original Greek, either:

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in statements he made after the formal doxology at the church of St. Dimitrios in Thessaloniki today stressed that the morbid climate cultivated by certain circles will not stop the efforts underway and declared that the government will proceed with the reforms it has announced.

He stressed that the cries of those who want things to remain as they used to be will not have an intimidating or disorientating effect while he noted that the people condemn the practice of bulldozing everything.

Main opposition Socialist Party President Giorgos Papandreou stated that the people feel that Greece is stagnant in the rationale of political party interests, cliental relations, lack of transparency and vision.

 

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One Response to “Garbage in, garbage out”

  1. craig Says:

    Actually, I read the original statement in one of the local Greek newspapers and it’s pretty much a standard issue political statement.

    The problem comes from a dire word-for-word translation in which absolutely no concession has been made to the fact that most readers will not be aware of the cultural background in which the announcement was made.

    This is what happens when you get people to translate out of their own language, especially if they do not live in the country where the target language is spoken. Alternatively, this is what you get when you hire your idiot cousin to do the job instead of a professional.

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