Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter Everybody!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Professional Frustration

Enough is enough.
Even more so than I already was, I am now determined to become employed in the world of translation, and specifically in subtitling. As I have always had affinity with the English and Dutch languages, it make my toes curl when I see some of the horrendous mistakes that appear in the subtitles on Dutch TV and even buy-to-own DVD's. Is it just me or have these translation companies hired some of the DUMBEST people on earth... who seem to have no clue as to what is currently going on the in English and American- speaking countries, the differences between the two, SPELLING OF THE DUTCH LANGUAGE(!!!), and the global cultural status quo.
By this time, you should be gagging for a few examples. I shall indulge.

First off, the world famous Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, should NOT be translated into Dutch as the "Charles Brug". History teaches us that there was no significant person in Czech history named "Charles" (in Czech or Dutch anyway ;-)). No no no, a bit of general knowledge and/ or research shows us
that this is known as the "Karelsbrug" (in Czech: "Karlův most"), named after King Charles the Fourth (KAREL IV, dus!), who also lay the first stone in 1357, on July 9th, at exactly 5.31 a.m. (1-3-5-7/9-7/5-3-1). Just so you know.

Next up: Pulp Fiction. Being a movie nerd, I know this little gem by heart and solely have the subtitles on for sheer "entertainment". When Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) tells Vincent Vega (John Travolta) to "Back off, I'm getting a little pissed here" (just before they pay Brett (CHECK OUT THE BIG BRAIN!!") and his friends a visit) , he does NOT mean that the lads have already been on a drinking binge (at "seven twenty-two in the A.M.", mind you) and that he is already getting drunk ("pissed" in British English --> translated in Dutch as "'n beetje dronken") - no, he means, of course, he's getting what the English would refer to as "a bit pissed OFF" (as in "mad" or "agitated") --> (oftewel "kwaad", of nog liever "pissig").

This was brought to my attention by a friend of mine (who occasionally shares my cynicism): when Americans refer to a "farm" as being part of a professional sports organization, this should NOT, I repeat NOT be translated literally into "een boerderij" - unless you're thinking of an unfortunate agricultural entrepreneur who owns his professional establishment in the near vicinity of Yankee Stadium or Wrigley Field. It would refer to the training system American
sports organizations have, wherein future ballplayers are trained and educated within that organization - which can be best described in Dutch as "een jeugdopleiding" or, somewhat more informally: "uit eigen kweek".

Also, interpreting the phrase "raising the stakes" as "de palen hoger zetten" would be completely and utterly wrong. It's an expression used in the world of gambling (or other kinds of competitive activities) and should be "de inzet verhogen".

I will not go into spelling mistakes or violations of verb conjugations... too many to mention.
This sh*t annoyes the crap outta me. My work seems to be cut out for me.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Colourful weekend of extremities

Sometimes, it makes me wonder what kinda world we really live in.
Let me describe a couple of 'interesting' incidents I had this past weekend.

On Saturday night, I went to one of my beloved concerts and was there confronted by some of the nation's worst scum: neo-nazi's. All fat, drunk, old bastards full of ridiculous tattoos (i.e. this (no shit!) and, well... beer. Sieg-heilling and rampaging while ultimately succeeding in ruining the atmosphere at the show. I would've said something but hey... we all know these people always claim the right to free speech, yet if someone has something to say AGAINST them, al hell breaks loose. And I'd rather spend the rest of my days with a full set of teeth, thank you very much.

On we merrily go with the Sunday. Evening shift at the bar. Picture this: a drunk (and may I add: very uninteresting and somewhat mongoloid) guy, sitting at the bar talking BS to some other guy. Two African-Americans walk in, order drinks and mind their business besides this fuckwit. As I am doing my work at this particular end of the bar, I overhear the man saying to these Americans: "Yeah, we, the Dutch, took you guys from Africa and sold you to the Americans" (as a joke). Needless to say, the two black guys were not amused - this was demonstrated by the colourful phrase "You say that shit to me again, I'ma take this teacup and bust it on the side of your fucking head." I managed to calm the lads down, and told the first guy to please STFU if he wanted to walk outta there. What a moron.

As if that wasn't enough... there was another incident with a (apparently) drug dealer and a disgruntled customer. The dealer had left the bar, while the "poor" addict was left twisting in the wind. He approched the bar mumbled in French what I later reconstructed would have been "Si je vois (...) par ici encore, je vais tuer le connard" - which roughly translates into " If I see so-and-so here again, I'm gonna kill the fucker." I responded with "There will be no killing around here" and left it at that. I am NOT getting involved in that kinda shit.

I have a good mind of putting on a little bit of Al Green or Marvin Gaye, grow some fresh basil and watch a couple of movies tonight. You know.... normal stuff...

P.S. It reminds me of the famous quote from Taxi Driver: "Someday, a REAL rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets..."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Is this guy for real??

Normally I'm not big on politics (since I consider it something we, as being part of a parliamentary democracy, can't do too much about as a result of all the bureaucracy and red tape...), but what I saw on the news (and read on the net) today blew my mind. Apparently, one of our more flamboyant and well-known members of the Tweede Kamer (which is part of the Dutch Parliament), Geert Wilders, announced the idea that he wishes to abolish the FIRST ARTICLE(!!!) of our constitution, which comprises the central idea of non-discrimination. In
other words: one of the main foundations of our nation. He wants to replace it by an article that manifests the Christian and Jewish humanist culture as the dominant one in Holland (read: a little "Fuck you" to the moslims). This man needs to get his head examined and preferably seek another job (the words "municipal watse services" spring to mind).
I'd like to know whether this is a real, genuine attempt to get this ridiculous idea through, or just another joust just to piss people off and work himself on the frontpage of various newspapers - again.
I might be an idealist, but I would imagine that it is an impossibility to have one of our countries main founding ideas replaced by a load of crap that states the EXACT opposite of the former.
How does Mr. Wilders expect anyone to take him seriously anymore (nevermind the haircut...). Puhleeeeease....

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Weeeeeeell SHIT Sheriff....

Tonight, for the first time in my near ten year experience as a bartender, a guy threw up on my bar. Yes, that's right. FUCKIN' PUKED on my bar.

I am now considering writing a bestseller called "The Ultimate Guide to Do's and Don'ts Whilst Frequenting a Bar" (feel free to check the rest of my blog). If this blog doesn't work, we'll pull out the big guns.

Also, this should become an international law.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Nice place to visit...

As I was gettind rid of the last remnants of the carnaval celebrations (doing laundry, fixing bike tire, bringing silly clothes to basement... that kinda stuff), it hit me. Did I dream this? Was it a figment of my imaginations? Was I really THAT drunk? Or did I remember correctly when I thought of a big HEAP of a mess that was laying outside of my apartment building the other day. Now, when the average person thinks of a "heap of a mess", they would imagine a bin liner that had been torn open and the contents were spread in the street in a fairly limited radius or range. When I think of a big heap of a mess, I think:

(oh sacrilage!)

In this particular case, it would appear that one of the people in my apartment buildings (which is situated in, shall we say, one of the less luxurious parts of Maastricht, NL) was either kicked out by his/ her girl/ boyfriend, after which the better half got rid of the ENTIRE series of belongings of this person.... or had blown town YET had taken the decency to vacate his apartment from ALL of his/ her belongings.... OR had escaped an eviction notice of some sort, after which the appropriate organisations had cleared out the premises in question. Either one of those ...or it was ONE HELL of a crime scene.

I decided to go and find out first hand and this is what I came across (YAY for my memory!)

Note to self: find new apartment. In better neighbourhood.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Toepasselijke poëzie

Inferno in Maastricht

Weer hijs ik mij in het mottig pak
ijl naar de stad in loden schoenen
smaakt het carnavalsbier straks brak
wacht mij Charon's taxi, een laatste zoenen?

hoe fel ik ook mijn kleur ophoog
tot in de morgen grimasseer
genadeloos vormt mijn zweet een loog
door mijn blanketsel leekt mijn zeer

Ik blijf een vreemdeling in deze stad
in joelend Babylon onbesneden
altijd weer Babylonisch zat.

ijdel orerend, de jeugd versneden
sneuvel ik kotsend op het Bat
geen kater volgt er op mijn schreden

August Agasi

Sorry about this little Dutch interlude, but it's very appropriate for my yearly dillema during these weeks. Indeed, Carnival in Maastricht is around the corner. And this year, I can't be asked. I have a good mind of escaping the entire thing. Spend the three days of Maastricht Madness nicely ensconsed in my parental home. Spend the time reading books, watching movies..... save the countless euro's that would be spent on frites zoervleis, Carnaval costumes, taxi fares and, most of all, excessive amounts of beer (and I DO mean excessive...) for the more useful things in life... a holiday maybe, new clothes, dvd's, that kinda stuff. Yep, sounds like a plan...

Wellll..... maybe just the one day.... ;-)