back to article Czech Olympic Committee annihilates English language

We don't know quite what is going on down at the Czech Olympic Committee, which recently announced its intention to pitch for the 2016 Olympics, but we reckon it's employed one of the Lads from Lagos to write the English version of its promotional website. Try the fascinating history of the country's previous bids, which begins …

COMMENTS

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  1. Joze Sveticic

    Oh, the irony

    The word "robot" is a Czech invention.

    And Czech translation agencies do have a less than stellar reputation.

    They should stick to pornstars and beer, they're good at that.

    Well, time for some Staropramen and a chat with Mrs. Palm and her five lovely daughters.

  2. b166er

    Come again

    Perhaps MediaDefender should approach the Czech Olympic Comittee and ask to use their method of encryption for securing their communications

  3. Ian

    RE: Oh, the irony

    And here was me thinking you were talking about El Regs infallible accuracy of the English language.

    "We don't know quite what is going on down at the Czech Olympic Committee"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    sounds just like the manual of my 74 Toyota.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Oh, the irony

    "And here was me thinking you were talking about El Regs infallible accuracy of the English language."

    El Reg's sentence was fine. Yours, however, missed an apostrophe.

    :P

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not quite the entire website though

    Not to worry, other parts of the website, such as the bits cribbed from Wikipedia (e.g. descriptions of gymnastics events), do parse a little more easily than that history page...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: the Czech in the post

    Utilization of the Babelfish with purposeful to Olympic bid? Low-grade attribute pertaining of official deliberative assembly holding responsibility towards Czech Olympiad. Much.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apologies to Dave Barry

    This style looks familiar. I think I've seen it, perhaps here:

    INSTRUCTIONS: For results that can be the finest, it is our advising that: NEVER to hold these buttons two times!! Except the battery. Next Taking the (something) earth section may cause a large occurrence! However. If this is not a trouble, such rotation is a very maintainence action, as a kindly (something) viewpoint from Drawing B.

  9. Webster Phreaky

    Hey! Sounds like my grandma, babi!

    What's so funny? This sounds exactly like a typical conversation between my grandparents and their non Czech neighbors, who also spoke broken Italianish or Polackish or Frogish in NYC.

    Just to defend our European friends and probably your ancestors; most speak two or three other European languages. How many does the average American or Brit speak? My Grandmother spoke five languages fluently besides Czech (unfortunately English was not one of them) - French (frog croaking), German/Austrian, Italian, Hungarian and Ukranian, after a Masters degree from Prague University in Literature, something no so uncommon for a big percentage of Czechs and Czech women in the first decade of the 1900's.

    Ps, The poster is CORRECT. The Czechs DID invent the term ROBOT and NO this does not at all sound like a Babelfish translation.

  10. Simon Elavy

    peep at peas

    My great great grandfather was the supreme 'peep at peas' champion in 1932. The previous year he was the 'glancing at gherkins' champion. Quite why these events were dropped I will never know!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps most embarassing is...

    The majority of people in the country (or at least in Prague) don't actually WANT the Olympics there, knowing that it's a risky project with uncertain ROI, requiring the construction of a lot of infrastructure and its subsequent abandonment (since it's highly unlikely to find use for the facilities once the games are over), not to mention the death of the olympic ideal. But never mind that, the politicians want it, perhaps to show the rest of us how stupid we are for failing to see the "prestige" of such an event.

  12. Paul Sims

    Hungarian dictionary?

    Your hovercraft is full of eels. My nipples explode with delight!

  13. Mr Larrington

    Manguage langlement

    One of the culinary delights we were offered on a recent cycling event in France was:

    "'Potato Vapour and Pieces of Salmon small boat"

    (Mind boggles on both pistons)

  14. Chris Hamilton

    It is literal translation.

    Someone has taken it word for word from a Czech>English dictionary. This is what happens when you don't understand context and grammar.

    And not all us Brits can only speak English (and a poor version at that). Some of us also understand Franglais.. (improvise French accent before attempting) "Dooo yoooo 'ave ze rezervazyion?" or the old favourite "Dooo yooo parlais ze English?".

  15. Dick

    Well...

    As far as I know, that's not the official site. Http://www.prahaolympijska.cz/ is. With a much different, better, English. Why did the authorities not use a more international URL is beyond me, though. Or why did someone start that bastard of a page mentioned in the article.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes for a good story, but ...

    the official site of Czech olympic comittee is here http://web.olympic.cz/

    Sounds like you've fallen for the Wikipedia trap all over again...

  17. Stuart Van Onselen

    Sounds familiar

    "The majority of people in the country (or at least in Prague) don't actually WANT the Olympics there, knowing that it's a risky project with uncertain ROI, "

    That sounds like +every+ country that "wants" to host a major event. For example, most South Africans are dreading the 2010 Soccer World Cup. And with us, it's not that the politicians think we're failing to see appreciate the "prestige", it's more like it's yet another opportunity for them to make obscene amounts of money through graft and corruption.

  18. George Brown

    RE: Perhaps most embarassing is...

    Funny you should mention that. What would be really embarassing is if the same situation occurred and the country actually DID win the Olympic bid. Oh wait, that's just happened in London..

  19. Barnaby Self

    amanfrommars?

    are you sure he was not employed to draft up the historical report ;-)

  20. gizmo23

    Translator

    Seems to me this should be passed to AManFromMars for translation. Sorry to AMFM if I spelled our name wrong, I can't remember the exact CaPiTaliSatioN in your name.

  21. Dionysius Johannesburg

    Is this official?

    Are you sure this is supposed to be an official presentation? It looks more like a blog, the domain is registered to an individual (see whois), and it doesn't even display the COC logo. There is at least one official resource, with considerably higher legibility, at http://www.olympiada.cz.mdm.etn.cz/olymp/jnp/en/home/index.html . (I personally don't like how they use the word "Czech" as a noun, but this is a highly controversial topic in its own right...)

  22. Brian

    Sorry to spoil the fun...

    ...but that's not the official website.

    The official website is here (English version):

    http://www.prahaolympijska.cz/olymp/jnp/en/home/index.html

  23. Anonymous

    Spam-glish

    You mean half of those spam emails we got with obscure phrases were actually press releases from this lot?

  24. Mike Holden

    @Is this official?

    > and it doesn't even display the COC

    And this is where we came in, with references to the Czech porn industry

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For to go the hunt

    "Your hovercraft is full of eels. My nipples explode with delight!"

    Elsewhere, the site says that the Czech olympic authorities plan to craunch a marmoset at the opening ceremony. Nasty.

  26. Phil

    Mascot

    At least the "pouched marmoset" makes a better logo/mascot than the British one.

    http://www.olympicprague.net/olympic-mascot/

    I wonder if they mean poached marmoset. Yum.

  27. Brian

    Oh, the irony of it all!

    How ironic! And tomorrow is the annual European Day of Languages:

    http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lang/awareness/day_en.html

    And all of this fascination and countless hours vainly invested in machine translation to very little avail, because mainly unilingual linguaphobes cannot bring themselves to investigate, or even inform themselves properly, about an alternative which time and time again proves that it functions perfectly adequately in real-life situations, and whose basic grammar can be grasped by most people after only a few hours study. I'm talking of course about 'universal bilingualism' and the inter-language Esperanto:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto

    http://www.polskieradio.pl/eo/

    http://lingvo.org/xx/2/3

  28. Richard Scratcher

    Usefully but all too lately - shallow joy

    How unfortunate that the late great Stanley Unwin could not have made use of what might, for him, have been an automated scriptwriter.

    Andus you mighty questional ask the IT anglipode?

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=duOhkSwMjKg

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My neeeeples explode with delite

    OK, I don't care if its real or fake, it's still damn funny, REGARDLESS OF IT ANGLE

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