Friday, September 22, 2006

One final thing (maybe)

As a coda to the perpetual idiot-cloud that has descended over the Papal lecture, word reaches me that the accurate but throwaway line used by Benedict was not actually as 'provocative' as various fools and knaves have presented it as being. Speaking in German, a language in which the Pope is, obviously, extremely exact, the words used were "schlecht" and "inhuman". These have been translated as "evil" and "inhuman" when, as any fule kno, even this fule with his microscopic knowledge of the equine language of Charles V, are better translated as "bad" and "inhumane".

In fact, one paper prefers the even less strong translation of "not good" for schlecht. One begins to wonder whether there is a bat-cave equivalent for Muslim offence: "Quick Abdul! To the OffenceMobile!", "But Offenceman, it was only a scholarly citation of a 14th century Byzantine Emperor, and anyway that's a mistranslation!" "Yes, but they won't know that..."

2 Comments:

Blogger The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Tim,

Being profoundly monoglot, I can't bring a direct criticism to bear on your translation from the german.

However, if you are correct, you might want to tell the Vatican. It's their translation.

Toodle Pip!
PG

cqocoamk: Verb. To refuse to drink your nighttime hot milky drink on the basis that the ingredients have been cynically extorted from the farmers by a ruthless Imperial overlord.

1:46 pm  
Blogger Brituncula said...

The original translation (in fact in French) has Manuel II say "mauvais et inhumain" and the Persian replies that in fact it's Christianity which is "inhumain" (because all that loving your enemies isn't natural behaviour). I'd guess the original Greek probably does mean "inhuman" but not in quite such a bad sense as might appear at first sight.

3:31 pm  

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