Time for another whine.
Tuesday get a call from the boss. “We need your help with a translation competition on Saturday. We need a native speaker to read a speech for the competitors to translate”
You need me to write a speech? ses I
“No, we will provide the speech, you just have to read it out”
So, foolishly, I agree. Thursday no speech recieved, so I make enquiries.
Turns out I have to read the speech once for each competitor, and there will be 15-20 competitors.
Presumably I’m cheaper than an MP3 player, (though I don’t see how I can be more consistent, even compared to the crappy equipment in this place.)
I’m quite pissed off about that, but I’m persuaded its too late to back out. Still no speech. They’ll email it to me.
Friday afternoon STILL no fucking speech, and I tell them if I don’t get it by 17.00 I won’t be there on Saturday, so at 16.45 I get a paper copy by runner, since no one can apparently manage to send me an email.
So I have to transcribe it. Here it is. By any non-Chinese standard I’d say its pretty bad. Of course we’ve all seen worse, but perhaps we havn’t had to read it out “once more with feeling” 20 times.
Dilemma. I can clean this up some, but if I eliminate the bullshit there isn’t much left. And maybe translators do need practice with meaningless verbiage, because there’s an awful lot of it about.
EDIT: Oops - Come to think of it, since the competition isn’t 'till this afternoon, I’d better defer posting the speech text until its over.
Bet y’all can hardly wait, eh? ENDEDIT
Original_Speech_Transcript, with my initial (hostile) comments
First of all, I would like to welcome all the participants in this important event, especially representatives from authorities [What the hell does THAT mean?], public and private institutions, as well as the experts from more than 34 [more than? did the abacus jam at 34?]countries who are here today. The motto of this Workshop, _ Climate Change and Sustainable Cities, [motto?]without any doubt—points out one of the most important challenges for the present and future of mankind. The difficulty of the challenge makes co-operation a must. We have to promote co-operation and consensus between the different towns and municipalities of the world. .[Why? What is so important about consensus in this context? This is empty rhetoric]
According to a recent study by the International Energy Agency, cities account for somewhere between 60 and 80% of world energy use and 76% of the worlds energy related CO2 emissions. [One might wonder why one of these figures has a range of 20%, while the other very closely related figure is quoted as 76% precisely.] The good news is that many cities have already realized this message and are on the front lines of climate change mitigation and environmental conservation.
This conference seeks to take stock of some of the most promising initiatives, such as the installation of energy efficient technologies, climate-sensitive urban planning, and the approval of financing measures to catalyse the green economy. [“the approval of” seems entirely redundant here] There is no doubt that improvements in urban design, housing stock [Housing stock means the number of houses, which is irrelevant, but I suppose its shorthand for a general improvement in then “greeness” of houses, so OK], public transit, and waste management are crucial components of a strategy to combat climate change. Through the several sessions, participants will be able to assess the extent to which greening cities can indeed produce significant economic as well as ecological advantages [This is a clumsy and circular sentence, since whoever wrote it can’t decide whether they are asking or answering a question. For example, why “assess the extent” when you’re already told it is “indeed””significant”?]
The climate change issue now more than ever is politically visible at the local level. Rather than simply encourage the formation of new policies , this Conference [caps? And I thought it was a Workshop?] seeks to understand which green policies have worked and why. Given the recent creation of green new deal programmes in cities and countries around the globe, we need to begin develop more serious metrics [“more serious” is either Chinglish, or it implies earlier metrics were frivolous]on the actual outcomes of these programmes. . [Nope. You’d need to do that at or before the start of the programme, otherwise the programme wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) be implemented]