{February 8, 2010}   Lost in Translation

Today I found out something very funny. People do not always need to know languages to write about them. Or to translate them.

I was at the hairdresser’s reading a very famous magazine here in Argentina, and came across an article about LOST. Basically, the writer was talking about the final season, and when referring to the first episode, he stated “episodio de la nueva temporada… se titula “LA X”. (The first episode of the new season is called “The X” – translating what he wrote). And yes. he was wrong. The episode is called “L.A. X”, where L.A. means…. yes! You guessed! Los Angeles!! (it wasn’t so difficult… just by watching the first episode of the first season you could guess it… or by some googling :P) Furthermore, LAX is… Los Angeles’ Airport! If this writer had thought for a while, translating the title of the previously mentioned episode would have been really easy… (If only she/he checked the plot of the series…)

The point is, we as teachers always insist on the appropriacy of words, but when I see things like this, I can’t avoid thinking that our students are exposed to “bad translations” everywhere, and then they use those phrases in their speeches and writing pieces, and when you correct them… it’s a long story.

Anyway, I still can’t believe that people from important magazines in Argentina are not able to translate something SO simple as that! (I mean, when they study to become journalists, they have several levels of English, and they can get to an upper intermediate level easily!)


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