Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lost In Translation

As anyone who deals on a regular basis with second language issues can tell you, sometimes when you switch between languages, it just doesn't work.

Witness this little gem. I came across an interview by Blikk, a pop culture magazine here in Hungary. Back in the 1990s, the magazine interviewed pop icon Madonna, while she was shooting her movie "Evita" in Budapest. The questions were asked in Hungarian, translated into English for Madonna to respond to, and then translated back into Hungarian. Later, when the interview was picked up in the US, the transcript was re-translated back into English for American readers. The results were interesting to say the least.

Blikk - Madonna, Budapest says hello with arms that are spread-eagled. Are you in good odour? You are the biggest fan of our young people who hear your musical productions and like to move their bodies in response.

Madonna - Thank you for saying these compliments. Please stop with taking sensationalist photographs until I have removed my garments for all to see. (laughs) This is a joke I have made.

Blikk - Madonna, let's cut to the hunt. Are you a bold hussy woman that feasts on men who are tops?

Madonna - Yes, this is certainly something that brings to the surface my longings. In America it is not considered to be mentally ill when a woman advances on her prey in a discotheque setting with hardy cocktails present.

Blikk - Tell us how you met Carlos, your lover servant who is reputed? Did you know he was heaven-sent right off the stick? Or were you dating many other people in your bed at the same time?

Madonna - No, he was the only one I was dating in my bed then, so it is a scientific fact that the baby was made in my womb using him. But as regards those questions, enough! I am a woman not a test mouse!

Blikk - May we talk about your other "baby", your movie, then? Please do not be denying that the similarities between you and the real Evita are grounded in basis. Power, money, tastey food, Grammys - all these elements are afoot.

Madonna - What is up in the air with you? Evita was never winning a Grammy!

Blikk - Ok, here is a question from left space. What was your book "Slut" about?

Madonna - It was called "Sex", my book.

Blikk - Not in Hungary. Here is was called "Slut"...There is so much interest in you in this geographical region, so I must ask this final question. How many Hungarian men have you dated in bed? Are they No. 1? How are they compared to Argentine men, who are famous for being tip-top as well?

Madonna - Well, to avoid aggravating global tension, I won't say. It's a tie. (laughs) No, no. I am serious now. See here I am working like a canine all the way around the clock! I am too busy even to try the goulash that makes your country for the record books.

Blikk - Thank you for your candid chitchat.

Madonna - No problem, friend who is a girl.


Kennie said...

ROFLMAO!!! Is this for real Darcy??!! Just way too funny.

Way Way Up said...

Scout's honour.


Bonnieupnorth said...

This is too funny and makes one conscious of one's own slang or expressions. The other day when I was trying to arrange travel from one one the health centers in Nunavik, got two extremely farancophone RNs...just trying to get a fax number and I think we all muddled through including my "tres mal" french and their " Ha" aite for the number 8. of course in Inuktitut the inflection of k's and q''s makes all the difference in meaning.

Did have a longer chat with Morty before she left Rankin and some catch up on Arctic bay.

Enjoy your travels.