Since Daniel frustrated me yet again by writing a blog entry in a strange Gallic language, and since my knowledge of the aforementioned Gallic language is good enough to read Asterix and Tintin, and good enough to see that the aforementioned blog entry was probably interesting to me; but nevertheless bad enough that I didn’t really know what it was saying, and bad enough that I make embarassing errors like offering to baiser respectable women on IRC goodnight, I decided to try Babelfish again and see how much it has improved since the last time I used it, rather than ploughing through the text with the dictionary. Also, there is something about Glazou’s tone which makes me suspect he is using words and idioms that I won’t find in the dictionary anyway.
Not that this last point works in favour of using Babelfish. Its dictionary seems to be even smaller than mine, and its grasp of idiom is so minimal that it makes the impression that it isn’t even trying. I don’t know what calottes chantantes are, for example, but I don’t somehow think that “singing caps” is the right English equivalent.
But the funniest thing in the translation was an idiom that Babelfish knew an English equivalent for. Ladies and gentleman, the English for vieux cons is “schmucks”.