Saturday, 7 November 2009

Land of culture

Well, after 20 years of tragicomic inability to promote Romania in terms of culture & tourism (let's face it, the 'Western' crowds by and large only know imagery with horse-drawn carriages shot in God forgotten villages and orphanages with 12th century living conditions), the various 'cultural' departments of the Government had another valiant attempt... as miserable as all previous ones.

This time, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, they tried to present Romania via a glorious book entitled 'Romania - Land of Culture'.

The slight problem is that this book is riddled with literally nonsensical translations from Romanian to English, massacres of English language of such gory hilarity that only a translation software in the hands of some orangutans could produce...

A few juicy examples from the thousands of diabolical passages, from a book that took 30 000 Euros to publish... and yes, all quotes are exact:

A writer is described via the paragraph: "He published the following books: headlight, windows, pictures, poems, book romaneasca, 1980, Poems of love, Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest, 1982, All, poems, book romaneasca, 1984; dream (in the next editions of Nostalgia) stories, Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest, 1989, [...] dream chimera, critical study, Litear, Bucharest, 1991, transvestite, Roman...".

In case your eyes and head don't huer yet, let's continue with other gems...

A poet is described with "he debuted in 1994 with a volume of poetry naturally exaggerate".

Romania is said to be "deeply European through its Latinity", and that it was searching for its democracy since the Middle Ages. Wow...

Or the following pearl: "For the long running history, twenty years are only a fragment of cronology, but for the life of a people escaped from the totalitarian nights this period of time marks the renaissance of the country, the finding of the European brothers and cousins once again".

Well, in case you're still standing and not convulsing with laughter (and possibly anger), then you'll also be pleased that Romanian words like 'roman' (which means novel) have been translated to English as... you guessed it (?)... 'roman'. Which kind-of means something else, doesn't it?

Bucharest is described as "the only capital city in the world whose patrimony had ever been aggressed during peacetime, between the dictatorship years: '70s -'80s of the last century".

Oh dear.

This lexical soup was produced by the Ministry of Culture, but they blame the manufacturers...

It is just another grand act in the tragicomic opera of Wagnerian proportions, an opera that lasted already for 20 years and has proven that the Romanian Mafiosi running the country with zero respect for anything have also zero self-respect.

In 20 years, none of the myriad governments that Romania had could in any way promote the cultural and natural treasures of that country - why would they, as the only interest they have is how to rob the country blind.

I had a vague hope in the 1990s, namely that this Mafia will be able to realise that if they do a good job with promoting Romania abroad, they can attract more tourism money to divert to their own pockets...

But the Romanian so-called cultural elite in the so-called Government, including myriad ministers responsible for culture and tourism over the last 20 years, always pick (being ultimately the laziest Mafiosi on the face of the planet) the methods with least effort to commit fraud at astronomical scale.

So why would they put effort into thinking, strategies, promotions etc... if they can do what they did for 20 years in that country, with minimum effort?

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