Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can you translate this from "Constitutional" into "Throw his ass in jail"?

While the DEA's request for native Ebonics speakers was good for some cheap yuks, Ken at Popehat reminds us that the real meaning behind requests like this is often pretty darned unfunny.


staghounds said...

I agree. We have a local translator whose work is at variance with even my poor Spanish.

For example, even I know "Y yo digo AYUDAME! AYUDAME!" is not "I was screaming".

You find exactly the same sort of pitch in the adverts for every sort of courtroom expert. One of the few built in advantages for the state, our experts are usually on staff and don't have ads out.

Wolfwood said...

On the other hand, sometimes you get transcripts where the person is just lazy or incompetent. Sometimes every sentence is punctuated with "[inaudible]" and there are "words" that are obviously wrong, especially when you listen yourself and the words are neither hard to hear nor all that difficult.

Justthisguy said...

We could do all court business in English, and if you don't speak or understand English, you are SOL?

(exceptions allowed for tourists, etc, but not for people who have lived here longer than one year)