just quite what the point is.
Take today’s little task. I am engaged in translating the blurbs for some films to be shown at a German-speaking cinema. The cinema is clearly quite excited about showing these mainly American films (a couple of French, one Italian) to the international audience it hopes to attract.
Your bewildered translator sometimes wonders if a) she has completely lost the plot or b) if she actually understands German any more.
The blurbs have been largely translated from American English into German. I am now translating them back into English. This raises little questions such as “shall I write ‘contract killer’ as the German says, or check out the film’s official website to see if they use the word ‘assassin’? (They do… if you’re interested…).
All this checking would be all well and good ***if*** it were going to serve any purpose. But I suspect it isn’t. Why? Because in their breathless introduction about their programme, the cinema tells the film fans that these films will all be shown in German… i.e. dubbed. So not in the original language with German subtitles… or even in German with English subtitles.
It makes me wonder why I’m bothering. If their non-native-German-speaking audience can speak German well enough to understand a film in German, they will hardly need the blurb in English. If the foreigners don’t understand German well enough, the few sentences of blurb will not be enough to see the audience through the twists and turns of the plot to make it worth their while sitting through the film.
Ho hum. Another pleasant Sunday afternoon spent in front of the computer screen.
I started a new pad of Garfield post-its today. The previous batch showed Garfield saying “Everyone’s entitled to my opinion.” It always made me smile. Today’s batch made me laugh out loud: “I might as well work, I’m in a bad mood as it is”.
I’m not in a bad mood exactly; just a tad exasperated.