danohu: (Default)
...is how much translation proper nouns take. What possible reason is there to call a language 'German' in English, 'Allemand' in French, and 'Nemetskii' in Russian, none of them with the faintest similarity to 'Deutsch' (*)? And just about every name or place gets mangled by one language or another. Not to mention all the faff over everybody transliterating Cyrillic in their own special way.

At RIA Novosti there used to be a little old man whose sole function was to figure out how to transliterate names of people and places for the various foreign-language newswires. When I was there I chalked it up to the inefficiency of a former Soviet propaganda agency. But maybe they really did need Igor and his library of atlases and Who's Who's. Grr!

(*) I assume there is some deeply fascinating and compelling historical excuse. I don't care. It's silly.

Also: I have the strong sensation that this is a rant I'll regret later, although I can't for the life of me imagine why. May as well post it and find out, in any case...

December 2016

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