27 March, 2008

Bad Translations

This post was inspired by this interview with Susan Higginbotham about her novel The Traitor's Wife (about Edward II's niece Eleanor de Clare) which I assume was fed into one of those online translating jobbies then back into English, with hilarious results:

"The rule of prince II was digit of unceasing state between the noesis and the nobility, and Eleanor, hardcore to her uncle and to her husband, is presently caught up in the tumultuous events that yet defeat both of the men she loves. She’s mitt to build her chronicle amid a rule that’s rattling hostile to her."

"Give us whatever brainwave into Eleanor de Clare. What identify of blackamoor was she? What was she aroused about?"

"where we crapper ease wager the stained-glass windows acting her ancestors, her brother, and her husband."

"Queen Isabella, prince II’s realty wife, yet became fed up with this. While on stag playing in France, she bacilliform an alinement with Roger Mortimer"

So I decided to use Babelfish to translate random bits of my blog posts into another language, then back into English...

Original text:

"Piers Gaveston returned to England from his second exile on or about 27 June 1309, and on 5 August, was re-granted his earldom of Cornwall at parliament. This was the period when he gave the earls insulting nicknames and acted even more arrogantly than ever, according to some of the chronicles."

Translated into German, and back into English:

"Jetties Gaveston, which was returned to a June 27 or approximately to England from its second exile 1309 and on August 5, became its Earl cathedral of Cornwall at the parliament RH -- grants. This was the period, when he gave the counts, who insult and even more arrogantly than at all functioned pointed names, according to some the chronicles."

Original text:

"But to no avail. Even the royalist earls were determined to see the back of Piers. Furious, powerless, Edward gave vent to his emotions, alternating between screaming insults and threats at the Ordainers and trying cajole them with flattery and promises of favours. Again, to no avail. Piers Gaveston was to leave the country by 1 November 1311, from Dover and nowhere else. If he did not, he would "thereafter be treated as an enemy of the kingdom, the king, and the people.""

Into French and back into English:

"But in vain. Even the royalist counts were determined to see the back of the pillars. Furious, impotent, Edouard gave the passage to his emotions, alternating between the yelling insults and threats at Ordainers and testing cajolez them with the flattery and the promises of the favours. Still, in vain. The Gaveston pillars were to leave the country within November 1, 1311, Dover and nowhere differently. If it not, it "would be then treated as an enemy of the kingdom, the king, and populates.""

Original text:

"Piers sailed from London, not Dover, on 3 November, not the 1st. His wife Margaret did not accompany him, for the simple reason that she was about six or seven months pregnant. The earldom of Cornwall was stripped from Piers."

Into Spanish and back into English:

"The wharves sailed of London, nonDover, the 3 of November, not 1ros them. Her Margaret wife did not accompany it, for the simple reason that she was near six or seven months of embarrassed. Earldom of Cornwall was bare of the wharves".

Original text:

"Edward II recalled Piers from the exile imposed on him by Edward I immediately after he heard the news that his father was dead, on 11 July 1307. Piers was back in England by early August, and Edward created him earl of Cornwall on 6 August, possibly without Piers' prior knowledge".

Into Russian and back into English:

"Edward II Recalled the piers from exile of that induced on I eat Yedshard 4 immediately after it it heard news that its father was dead, to 11 - GO of July 1307. Piers were located back in England k in the beginning of August, and Edward created it earl Cornwall to 6 - GO of August, as far as possible without the knowledge of the piers of previous".

Original text:

"Edward's obsession with his friend was such that he refused to see any of his barons unless Piers was also present, and rudely ignored them, talking only to Piers. Piers grew more and more arrogant because of Edward's favour, according to the Vita: "scornfully rolling his upraised eyes in pride and in abuse, he looked down upon all with pompous and supercilious countenance…indeed the superciliousness which he affected would have been unbearable enough in a king’s son.""

Into Dutch and back into English:

"Obsession of Edward with its friend was such that he refused no matter which of its our see unless the pillars were also present, and harsh ignored them, which speak only to pillars. The pillars grew more more arrogant and because of the grace of Edward, according to Vita: "upraised contemptuously rolling of him looks in proud and in abuse, he looked down on all with pompous and supercilious tolerate... indeed superciliousness those he enough unbearable are would be in the zoon of a king." influenced"

Original text:

"Edward also arranged Piers' marriage to his (Edward's, not Piers', obviously) niece Margaret de Clare, which took place on 1 November 1307, but which had been planned for months - the charter granting the earldom of Cornwall to Piers on 6 August was decorated with the de Clare arms as well as Piers' own. Piers had an annual income of £4000, making him one of the richest men in the country."

Into French, then into German, and back into English:

"Edouard likewise assigned itself the marriage of the columns at its (Edouard not columns naturally) niece Margaret of Clare, which took place 1 November 1307, but during months planned was - the Charter, which grants the arget0_0_titel von Cornwall at columns 6 August, was decorated with the arms by Clare exactly the same as clean by the columns. The columns had an annual income of £4000, which makes one of the richest men in the country for it."

Hours of mindless entertainment! :)


Susan Higginbotham said...

These are wonderful! I loved the last one about the rich columns.

My favorite part from the mangled interview with me is this description of Hugh the younger: "He would ballyrag wealthy widows, including his possess sister-in-law, into handing their lands over to him." (How come the ballyragging didn't figure into the charges against him at his trial?)

Not to mention Hugh and Eleanor's tiny children: "The pair had at diminutive figure children together."

And I suppose Eleanor should go on that list of "100 Black Britons" that was circulating a few years back: "I conceive she was a blackamoor of large spirit and strength."

Gabriele Campbell said...

Roflol, that program should be called Babblefish, not Babelfish.

It's interesting to see that the least mangled is the one translated into French and back - it proves that "English is just badly pronounced French," as d'Artagnan puts it in Vingt Ans Après. :)

Kathryn Warner said...

Susan: they're great, aren't they? Love all the translations of 'Piers', especially 'Jetties'! Wonder why they keep using the word 'blackamoor' - what on earth was that in the original?

Gabriele: *grins*

Carla said...

Hours and hours of fun! Now you know how they write the instruction manuals for video recorders :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Hehe, yes, that's the only thing that makes sense. :-)