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That inauguration poem, apparently a Catalan speaking bloke isn’t the right person to translate it into Catalan:

“It is a very complicated subject that cannot be treated with frivolity,” said Obiols, a resident of Barcelona.

“But if I cannot translate a poet because she is a woman, young, black, an American of the 21st century, neither can I translate Homer because I am not a Greek of the eighth century BC. Or could not have translated Shakespeare because I am not a 16th-century Englishman.”

Having a black who did speak Catalan would, of course, be cultural appropriation….

13 thoughts on “Well, quite”

  1. ’ Univers could not be reached by AFP for comment.’

    Was the server down? Laptop out of battery and telephone lines blown down?

  2. As I said before, Google translate would be adequate for this “poem”. It might even improve it

  3. And my favourite- edward fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar kayam. He retranslated over 7 or 8 editions and you pick your favourites. And its one of those things that the translator and the poet merge into one work and you give credit to both.

  4. Could explain a lot if a Frenchman was responsible for translating the Withdrawal Agreement into ‘English’.

  5. It’s standard practise that it’s best for any translation to be translated into a target language by a native speaker of that target language, otherwise you end up with Jinglish thing making bound sheets.

  6. Imagine the problems if Gorman were disabled, adopted, and bulimic. What are the chances of finding a young, black, female, disabled, adopted, bulimic translator into Catalan? Especially one who could do justice to this magnificent piece…

  7. But William Shakespeare’s agent didn’t complain about Obiols’ translation: maybe old white males are less sensitive?

  8. Heh – the fewer people “allowed” to translate these poetic emissions, the fewer people have to hear them. Y’all non-English speaking persons are danged lucky you don’t have to have this stuff inflicted upon you.

    Way to go, wokelings – suppressing the words of a black female poet person.

  9. Why the immature drivel should be translated into another language is unclear. Presumably there is already enough Catalan crap available.

  10. If only someone just like Amanda Gorman is suitable to translate the poem, presumably the last candidate found to do it will be excluded on the grounds that they speak Catalan and Amanda does not.

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