Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lost in Translation

As Ive been researching my upcoming trip to Italy, I have been using the Google Chrome feature which translates web pages into English. This is a literal translation done by a computer so the translations are usually awkward. 

Example from a little wine shop where you bring in the food you buy at the nearby market to have with some wine: 

Italian -  L'Osteria del Sole è un viaggio nel tempo intorno a un bicchiere di vino, dove si può portare la pietanza e mangiare sul tavolone mentre si parla del mondo.

Computer Translation - L'Osteria del Sole is a trip back in time around a glass of wine, where you can bring in your own food and eat the plank while speaking world.

Er? Eat plank? I read the Italian and the better translation would have been along the lines of:

L'Osteria del Sole is a trip back in time with a glass of wine, where you can bring in food and eat at the communal tables while chatting about the world (or discussing current events, or shooting the breeze get the point)

Since the auto-translation is so poor, many web pages have the little British or American flag directly on them to cater to tourists. I click on this if it is available and assumed (incorrectly)  that since it was part of the website that maybe they actually translated the content correctly as opposed to the very literal computer programmed stuff I was seeing with Google. 


Sooo, I was enjoying myself tonight researching where I will feed my face in Florence which is a crucial decision cause I only have one night...and found this well-reviewed restaurant that looked great. The directions were as follows and I learned a new Italian word today:

The Trattoria Quattro Leoni (4 Lions) was founded in 1550: located in Piazza della Passera (passera is the Florentine locution for pussy), a part of the old Florence that you can't find on the maps.

It goes onto to explain that there used to be a brothel located in the square, which I suppose makes sense...

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