Wednesday, 12 September 2007

More of the same

What would I do without the BBC? What would I write about? No, really. It’s a constant source of astonishment, aggravation, amusement, alliteration. Such a gift for a grumpy old woman.

Like, for example, why did they show Bend It Like Beckham the other day? As if I didn’t know. Could it be, by any chance, because that Keira Knightley (my mother would have said, ‘On dirait un hareng.’) is in a new film? Could it?

I don’t care when this kind of thing is done by commercial TV channels, although I don’t see why TV and newly released films should be coupled thus, but this is my licence fee they’re using to hype Atonement. Drat, I’ve said it!

Don’t go away, there’s more
: the BBC has surpassed itself this week. They have reached a new low in moronicity. Wanna hear the latest? I’m once again about to translate stuff for them, as I do every year around this time. Yesterday morning I received a summary in abominable French for one of the scripts I have to translate. I asked the PA who sent it to me why it was in French and where it came from, dismayed at the idea that such gobbledygook might have been used to promote the programme in a French-speaking country. She got back to me saying, ‘... the translation I sent was created from a translation website that I found – I was trying to help.’ Does she think that’s what I’m going to do too: feed the scripts through Babelfish and just correct the odd infelicitous phrase here and there? Obviously she does.

Idiots are all around us. How do you respond when a project manager says to you, as one did recently to my partner, who’s an editor, when told a particular book would take x weeks to edit, ‘But surely you don't have to read it all, do you?’

Makes you want to curl up and die, doesn’t it? Or slap them very hard, anyway.


  1. LOL -- Babelfish! I too, could be a professional translator!

  2. Where do they get them from?

  3. NST, keep it mind if you want a change of career.

    L, I think there a school somewhere that produces cretins especially for large organizations.

  4. Ye Gods. She thought she was giving a French native speaker and career-translator a head start by running something through Babelfish? She must be bored. Bored and stupid.

  5. Yep, she thought it would save time, since the deadline is so short. LOL!

  6. Hee, Babelfish. I suppose if using it is considered "helpful," we ought to seriously consider turning Babelfish into a verb. As in: When the publisher Babelfished the complete works of Dickens into French, book critics couldn't decide if he was a illiterate dadaist or a poorly skilled deconstructionist.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.