Come On, Let's Go.
21Jul/101

I Am Jack’s Struggle To Take It Easy

(The following post assumes you've either read or seen Fight Club.)

One member of MetaFilter, my internet hang-out spot, once proposed/related a very interesting theory about the 1986 John Hughes hit Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I reproduce it here in full:

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the "Fight Club" theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron's imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he's lying sick in bed, Cameron lets "Ferris" steal his father's car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the "three" characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day -- Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn't until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane ("He's gonna marry me!"), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

Interesting, right? Well, take a look at what came down the works recently:

Sometimes, the fact that there are no original ideas absolutely delights me.

14Dec/090

Nära Nerladdningschef

As I continue to pound through John Donne and Aldous Huxley, I occasionally find time to surf around a bit. Yesterday I discovered something that had me laughing for quite a while.

I'm a card-carrying member of the community blog MetaFitler. Recently someone posted a website featuring angry/snarky Adobe AfterEffects crash reports. A discussion ensued regarding the fact that, as far as software stability is concerned, Adobe seems to be run by the salesmen and not the developers. As an example, one member, effbot noted the following:

After the release that had "close download manager" translated as "nära nerladdningschef" in Swedish, I'm not sure they're run by people at all. Nor computers, for that matter. Not sure what they're using, really.

A few individuals found this pretty funny while the rest of us non-Swedish speakers were left in the dark. Here is his extended explanation, slightly edited for clarity:

I guess something like "near the person in charge of downloads" captures the essence of the Swedish translation pretty well. Seeing that on a button is a rather big WTF in itself, but that's nothing compared to the WTF process Adobe must have been using to come up with this in the first place.

Translating it back to English doesn't really work -- what makes that translation so bizarre is that the words seem to be translated one by one, completely ignoring the context they appear in, and whenever the translator was faced with multiple choices, they invariably picked the wrong Swedish word. Yet, the resulting nonsense has then clearly been tweaked to be grammatically correct, something a computerized word-to-word translation wouldn't have done.

In other words, whoever translated that doesn't know what the words of the language mean, but knows the grammar. That's a bit unusual, and moves this from being just yet another bad translation to a category of its own.

And there you have it. As it turns out Adobe is not run by developers, nor salesmen, nor robots, but idiot-savant grammarians.

   

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