samedi 9 juin 2012

T is for Translation

What remains of it hairy? Your guess is as good as mine. By some slip of the finger, I managed to activate an automatic translator on my computer. The result was that my Mac began busily to translate everything it could find. It translated French into a sort of English and even did its worst by translating English into its own version of the
language. The results were particularly baffling on the news summary Orange gives me whenever I log on. So, apart from “What remains of it hairy?”, I was told “Italy, on the verge of suffocation”, “Goal it’s very exciting” and was also informed that “The striker will miss the chickens of the Euro because of a bad act”. What a shame. Then Marks and Spencer offered me the chance to buy “Pants cut off without pliers fine scratches”. Very fashionable, I’m sure.

When I logged onto Facebook I saw the word “Cat” everywhere. It’s simple, once you get the hang of it: Facebook was offering me the chance to “chat” with my friends. “Chat” is, of course, the French for “cat”, so that’s what I ended up with. Fancy a cat anyone? According to everything I’ve read, the ads and recommendations that pop up when you’re surfing the net are supposed to reflect you: your browsing and buying history and the profile the machine has built up about you. I’ll give it the
on-line shoe stores and even the anti-wrinkle cream ads that have started to appear since my last birthday. But I’m worried that it thinks I need an English-speaking rehab centre in Spain to help me deal with drink and drug problems.

Amazon is forever urging me to buy a Berlitz guide to Norway. I once went on a business trip to Stavanger, but that’s about the only connection I have to the country. Although I’m sure it’s well worth a visit, I’ve no plans to head there in the near future. Neither, despite Orange continually thrusting hotels in Budapest at me, does Hungary feature in my travel plans. I’m not sure either, why someone somewhere thinks I might be interested in hiring a coach in Sweden. I know I don’t travel light, but if I ever went there, I would probably be content with a Nissan Micra from Hertz. Facebook, on the other hand, thinks I should go to Barcelona. Is that before or after rehab?

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