Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Caricature of a Bomb

Lovely story. Except this bit:
After all, it is just carrots with an alarm clock and nothing else... this is just a caricature of a bomb
Rookie error Aunty. Lots of languages use ‘caricature’ where we would use ‘cartoon’. I remember talking about the Mohammed ‘caricatures’ in French class, for example, and I’m sure I’ve seen it in German. And come on, a caricature of a bomb? It’s not like Gerald Scarfe is going to go to work on it and draw it with a long neck and a big, bendy nose, is it?

Of course, the other possibility is that this was not translated. Perhaps the original was said in English and the artist made one of those false-friend errors that everybody makes all the time in foreign languages. This throws up another issue: tidying up quotes. If he’d said something like: [in my best generic European accent] “Only are caricatura from bomba” the writer would have probably corrected the basic spelling and grammar mistakes. The clear mistake in usage, however, stayed as it was. Exactly when, how, and how far second-language quotes should be corrected is often as much an issue as translation itself.

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