Friday, June 30

'Say Whut?' Babelfishing for the mot juste

Good morning to Europe and points east.

Thanks to the many visitors from non-native English speaking countries, I just added Babelfish to the top of the page, over there to the right, to ease translations. Please give it a try, and let me know just how badly cutting-edge technology can mangle language.

But no. No, not as badly as many Israeli spokespersons do when addressing the foreign media, and quite often in a dialect that, actually, almost resembles English...

Lesse', there was Dalia Yitzik to the UK's Court of St. James. That was a good one. Late (and deeply missed) Jerusalem Post colleague Sam Orbaum ripped into Itzik on her "hibroo"; Defense Minister Amir Peretz speaking (sic) at The Rabin Center in something English-istic (hat tip to OneJerusalem). Myself, I was always partial to Vice Premier Shimon Peres' "piss pro-sess."

This example by Gil Hoffman at The Jerusalem Post was written back in 2001. Has anything changed? Got any better examples? There must be bazillions...

Reporter and media affairs expert Dan Diker at The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs takes a more serious, well-documented look at the issue.


Andreas said...

Hmmm, I can't see any option for translating / babelfish. But fortunately I am able to read English quite well - even if I have to confess that speaking / writing is a little bit more difficult, because I use my English not very often.

Dave said...

Refresh the page and look again...


Andreas said...

Ah... now it's here. Wow, that's --- art. Dada, maybe. I just read your latest articel "Gay Black Jewish Klansmen" in German. Hmmm, I have to confess that I didn't understand a word. But that has to be my bad German ;-). But, fortunately, I can switch back to my, also bad, English. And then I get it.

No, I think babelfish is okay to get the meaning of an (easy) text which uses only "common words".


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