Saturday, November 01, 2008

gained in translation

I've got another research paper to write, this time on diplomatic and consular protection, and Canada's "performance".

I was doing some research, and reading a page in the Foreign Affairs' webpage, when I came across this:
Certains Canadiens font comme s’ils ne savaient pas qu’ils doivent épuiser tous leurs recours avant de demander de l’aide ou se mettent dans des situations dangereuses, et exigent ensuite certains services consulaires qui ne sont normalement pas offerts. Ces personnes vont par la suite demander réparation en justice s’ils jugent insuffisants le niveau et l’efficacité de l’aide fournie par le gouvernement du Canada.

Which _literally_ made me go WHAT!? Not only is it extremely mean, it's unprofessional. Of course, I wanted to see if that's what the government meant, or if it was only a translation mistake. The English version says this:
Some Canadians ignore their responsibility to exhaust all personal options of recourse or place themselves in risky situations, then demand consular services not normally provided, and subsequently seek legal recourse in demonstrating their dissatisfaction with the level and effectiveness of the assistance provided by the Government of Canada.

Which begs the question: Which incompetent low-life paid by MY taxes translated that? And HOW do you go from "Some Canadians ignore their responsibility" to "Some Canadians pretend not to know their responsibility"!?

I hope that's not how the gov't views its citizens: as ill-intentioned, ungrateful morons who act like spoiled brats and sue the administration every time we're not having things our way.

And even then: "SOME Canadians ignore". Sorry to disappoint, but that should read "MOST Canadians ignore". It's not exactly common knowledge. I'm sure most people going abroad do not necessarily expect to get in trouble with the law, much less research your recourses in advance.

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