And just like that, summer is over. Feeling left behind? Here are 7 interesting stories about language and translation to keep you in the know!
So, this week Britney Spears released a new album. One of the songs, “Coupure Electrique,” is sung entirely in French. How sophisticated! Except she obviously didn’t get a French translator to help with the lyrics. To quote Bustle,
“The French lyrics in this track are not actually grammatically correct, so a direct translation would result in English lyrics that actually don’t really make that much sense.”
But if you’re interested in what she’s trying to say, Bustle does a good job of trying to parse the lyrics into understandable English.
If you’ve watched an American cop show, you’ve heard it: The Miranda warning, which advises suspects being placed under arrest that they have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.
But if what if the suspect doesn’t speak English? The US now has the world’s second-largest population of Spanish speakers. Only Mexico has more. But until this month, the US did not have a standard translation of the Miranda warning. And that has caused all sorts of problems. According to Vice, there have been “dozens of instances of bad translations, including the use of Spanglish, and completely made-up Spanish words like “silento.” (The Spanish word for silent is “silencio.”)
Finally, a half-century after the Miranda warning became the law of the land and standard police operating procedure, the American Bar associaton has voted to create a standard Spanish-language Miranda warning. Read more