July 16, 2007

Could You Please Repeat That?


















Little known fact: Prior to becoming a wildly successful, world-renowned sports blogger, The Off-Color Commentator once worked at a law office. (True story.) And at this law office, The OCC often had to deal with documents that had been translated from various languages (mostly French) into English.

Generally speaking, the translations were horrendous, featuring sentence after sentence that sounded like the kind of overly formal but altogether jumbled English a space alien would speak after touching down upon Planet Earth and exiting his space pod amidst a cloud of steam that looked suspiciously like dry ice.

But as bad as those translations were, they really couldn't hang with the Spanish-to-English translation of a Dodgers-Giants game recap we recently found on a site called SportsYA. Behold just one of the gems contained therein:
"While attacking, Dominican Wilson Betemit hit one, reaching a record of 10 homers. Betemit connected his quadrangular at starter Matt Morris' passes, with no players on the way."
Apparently this was quite a game. Not only did Wilson Betemit run out onto the field wielding some sort of lance, spear or other deadly weapon, but in the midst of hurling it around at opposing players (i.e. "attacking"), he also managed to hit a homer, which -- as it turns out -- was a record-setting number 10. Spectacular! We can only wonder what record this might have been. (Most homers in a single season by a player who accomplished the feat while assaulting others with a weapon?)

From a close reading of the text, we have also deduced that Betemit's record-setting strike came after Giants starter Matt Morris made multiple "passes" at him. Matt Morris making passes at opposing players would certainly be a revelation in and of itself, but what the phrase we're really stuck on is "Betemit connected his quadrangular." It occurs to us that this is probably referring to a homer (hence the use of "quad" for four bases), but connecting one's quadrangular also sounds rather personal and perhaps like the sort of business one might want to take care of in the clubhouse.

Whatever the case may be, this is the kind of insight you can't just find anywhere. In the legal business, a botched translation is a gigantic headache. But in the world of sports, it is pure gold.

In closing: Thank you, SportsYA. Thank you for your strange words and odd-sounding phrases. Whatever machine (or person) slaughtered that translation has illuminated a side of baseball that we never knew existed. And for that, we will be forever grateful.

And by "grateful," we mean "salad bowl."

2 Comments:

Blogger Whynatte said...

You really can't make that stuff up. Funny time.

11:09 AM, July 17, 2007  
Blogger James said...

I don't know for sure, but whatever sport that was describing sounds a helluva lot more exciting than baseball. If SportYA was somewhat consistent, they could create their own kind of virtual telecast where animated players act out the descriptions fed to them by SportsYA via the actual happenings of live baseball game.

2:52 PM, July 17, 2007  

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