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Thursday, March 22, 2007
English a la EVZ
Seriously, what's wrong with EVZ's English section these days? They seem to just fill it up with translations that make me seriously think about how to react. To quote Cris Z, if it weren't sad, this would actually be quite funny. So, laugh or cry, I cannot decide.

First, let's analyze this story.

Romania is ranked 21 in Europe as regards water sources as the most affected parts of the country affected by draught are the South and the East, where water quantities have been much less than when the climatology norm stipulated, in the last five months.
What is that? I cannot tell. It sounds so bad I don't know where to start complaining. Moving on, what do they mean by "grave" here:
The Voiculescu anti-presidential Committee presented its report of the President’s “grave wrongdoings” in which Traian Basescu is guilty of breaching the Constitution exactly the same day that the Constitution Court decided the Committee is legal.
If you check the options listed here, you'd see their choice was not that good. Serious would have worked better. Simple, not a great match here, especially when placed anywhere near wrongdoings, but way better than grave.

Now, I've never dared to think my English is perfect. Then again, I'm one blogger, writing in my spare time and during the little breaks I'd rather spend on the blog and not having coffee breaks. I am not paid to translate news. I'd do a better job. In fact I did it in the past.

I can understand lack of time, the fact that the English page is not that important. But if all that work and lack of time for more tasks is overwhelming, just don't translate anything. It harms the newspaper's image a lot less.

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posted by Alina @ 4:37 PM  
  • At 3/22/2007 6:38 PM, Anonymous Radu C said…

    There has to be a typo there. Maybe they wanted to say "Engrish", not "English" :)

    On the "grave" word: I didn't look in the dictionary, but the Debian project uses the word "grave" instead of "serious" for one of their severity levels. But in their case, it kind of makes sense: a serious bug that puts the affected piece of software into a "grave" position :)

    After reading the first excerpt a few times, trying not to use the logic part of my brain, that text actually made some sense :) It says we're ranked 21st in Europe from a water source perspective and the reasons for that is the drought, which is present in the south and the east of the country, and the drought is because it didn't rain as much as it used to in the last 5 months.

    I still have to ask myself this: 21st how? Good or bad? (Good = there's enough water for everybody, Bad = we drink Sand Cola).

    In any event, that text makes perfect sense. You just have to twist your brain a little, that's all :) And by a "little" I mean lobotomy, to match the editor's brain power.

  • At 3/22/2007 7:03 PM, Anonymous NetBoy said…

    EVZ is an "orange" newspaper (orange as in the presidents party color...) ... they have to translate it and they will, because everybody needs to be informed, properly or not, about the "grave wrongdoings" of the presidend, PM and oposition, it's their job... as it is their job to shed a specific light on each of them, as the light is indicated by the upper chain of command... So I guess the poor quality translation they've got is the least of their problems...

    And forgive me for being a little off-topic...

  • At 3/22/2007 7:45 PM, Blogger Ryan said…

    I think NetBoy is on to something. If EVZ is an orange newspaper, then I take it as a must for the English section to struggle to reach the same standard at which our beloved president is. So far they're doing a great job job, wouldn't you agree?

    Joking aside, it looks to me as they're doing a very basic mistake, which unfortunately questions their qualification (so dare I call it a grave mistake?:P): They're not thinking in English, but in Romanian, with words from the English vocabulary.

  • At 3/22/2007 9:57 PM, Anonymous Radu C said…

    NetBoy, Ryan, I'm sure that Iliescu isn't "orange" (he's "vodafone" :P), yet his english resembles EVZ's and Basescu's.

    I don't remember Constantinescu's english though... Does anyone remember that? Was he also as "fluent" as the rest?

  • At 3/23/2007 8:46 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Well guys, you might all be on to something. And yes Ryan, these are clearly the result of thinking in Romanian and trying to write in English.

    No matter what the reason is, this is still unacceptable. Because it is a newspaper read by many. And because I am sure they have a budget for it. heck, if they paid me, I'd translate the news for them in the evening! An hour or two, nothing more, judging by what they publish in that section!

    Radu, I actually remember nothing about Constantinescu's English. So, two possibilities: his was decent or we never heard him when making a speach in English :)

  • At 3/24/2007 4:45 AM, Anonymous NetBoy said…

    For EVZ sake I would dare go back even further with the comparisons :P But what it gains in poor translation it lacks in "wooden tongue"...

    I know people who'd do it for free, just to get to throw some mud against Tariceanu...

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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