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Friday, September 12, 2014

Lost in translation Part Four - racist mascots?

In the translators' folklore Swansea Council will never live down the time that a Welsh language out-of-office message appeared on a road sign purportng to be a translation of the English, however that does not seem to have deterred them and other public bodies from failing to check the accuracy of signs and other publications before they enter the public domain.

The latest faux pas to come to my attention is a bi-lingual booklet advertising the Swansea Bay Festival. The booklet is full of errors and appears to have been written with the help of Google Translate. The passage that stands out however is this one advertising the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k:

'The event also feature (sic) junior races, the Dylan Thomas Mile and Mascot Race. All entrants receive a t-shirt and all finishers receive a goody bag and medal.

Roedd y digwyddiad hefyd yn cynnwys rasys iau, mae'r Dylan Thomas Milltir a Masgot Hiliol. Mae pob cystadleuydd yn cael crys-t, a phob gorffen yn derbyn bag nwyddau a medal.'

Somehow, the council have managed to translate Mascot Race as Racist Mascot.

Given that they have their own professional translation department one has to wonder why the council did not use their services when producing material such as this.
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