16 juin 2006

Whatever happened to the "global village"?

I was watching a documentary the other day, The Yes Men, about two guys trying to undermine the WTO from the inside - pretty funny, in a Michael-Moore sort of way - when suddenly, disaster struck.
The translator doing the subtitles was obviously working straight from the video and didn't have a script. And when, at some point, one of the guys said something like "every columnist in the US", s/he didn't understand. Or rather, s/he understood "communist". And of course proceeded to translate "communist".
Now. A translation usually goes through a quality control. Subtitles supposedly go through a quality control too. That means that at least two more people didn't think there was anything wrong with that.
The same kind of annoying thing has already happened several times - let's face it, it's easy to spot mistranslations in subtitles, especially when you're, like me, actively looking for them, but still... - but the one that also stays is when some alleged translator had misunderstood "when he'd been wronged" and translated "when he'd been wrong". Which I'm sure you'll agree does alter the meaning slightly.

There's a job offer that keeps popping up on my e-mail: a very, very big company in NYC is currently looking for a French translator. In fact, they're looking for me, but they're in denial. Someone with my experience, in my field of experience, etc. Me, right?
Except they're not going to hire me. And believe me, I've applied. Three times. And I'm going to apply again. They said they were looking for the right person. Based on their ad and my resume, I can only assume that the right person will already have the right to work in the US because they're not going to sponsor. As they've been looking for a couple months now, they'll have to settle soon, because nobody looks for translators for ever. So they'll hire someone who doesn't meet their requirements, but hey, at least they won't have to sponsor. (By the way, I'm not saying I meet their requirements. I'm saying they could
at least bloody check.)

So there you have it. That's the main reason why I haven't really been updating this thing quite so regularly as in the past - nice little bit of understatement, that. I'm not, in fact, a big fan of the bitchy whiny attitude - no, I'm not... - and it seems that all I want to be doing these days is bitch and whine. And it's going to last a while, I can tell.

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