Even Racists Got the Blues

Straight to the chase, the Geeky Gaeilgeoir nails fools who take things literally

The Geeky Gaeilgeoir

OK…I have to say that, most of the time, I feel a little bit sorry for people who make horrendous translation mistakes. This is not one of those times.

This pic came across my desk about nine months ago, and it may just be the worst example of a self-translation disaster I’ve ever seen. 

In fact, it’s so bad, and so out of context, that most of my Irish-speaking friends had no idea what this person was trying to say with those three Irish words: “Gorm Chónaí Ábhar.” It’s beyond gibberish. It even took me a few minutes.

The sad thing is, in order to “get it,” you need to be familiar not only with the ways in which people make translation mistakes (which are legion), but also with a particularly unpleasant segment of U.S. politics.

What this person was trying to say, with this mess of…

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Whose life is it anyway? Novelists have their say on cultural appropriation

Jonathan Franzen claimed he won’t write about race because of limited ‘firsthand experience’, while Lionel Shriver hopes objection to ‘cultural appropriation is a passing fad’. So should there be boundaries on what a novelist can write about? The Guardian asked Hari Kunzru, Kamila Shamsie, Aminatta Forna, AL Kennedy, Philip Hensher and others give their point…Read more Whose life is it anyway? Novelists have their say on cultural appropriation

Who Gets to Write What? – NY Times

By KAITLYN GREENIDGE September 24, 2016 When I was in graduate school, I remember a fellow writer bringing to a workshop a lynching scene. The writer was not black. He was, in fact, a Chinese-American man named Bill Cheng, who would go on to write a novel of the blues called “Southern Cross the Dog.” In class…Read more Who Gets to Write What? – NY Times

We need to talk about Lionel

Lionel Shriver’s Address on Cultural Appropriation Roils a Writers Festival By ROD NORDLANDSEPT. 12, 2016 The author Lionel Shriver caused a stir at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Credit Gary Doak/Writer Pictures, via Associated Press BRISBANE, Australia — Officials in charge of an Australian writers festival were so upset with the address by their keynote speaker,…Read more We need to talk about Lionel

Away with the fairies

Justin Bieber has dreadlocks. Away with them, string him up, cast him out. And while you're at it, leave our leprechauns alone. I'm fed up of people claiming to be Irish, dressing up in green clothes and drinking green beer so they can say 'top o'the mornin' to ye' and get drunk on St Patrick's day.