As the Fez Festival progresses, The View from Fez always reads the press kit notes and daily handouts for information on the performers. But oh! what a terrible mess these translations are. Consider, for example, the programme notes for Jordi Savall's concert tomorrow night:
Sanctified by the three monotheistic religions of the Mediterranean, Jerusalem was quickly transformed into a city claimed and desired target of pilgrims of all kinds. Some came to smell it in peace and some with entire armies to besiege guilty, burning and destroying ... The city was devasted more than forty times during its long history. So it is with the din of trumpets of Jericho (1200 BC) that opens "Jerusalem, the city of two Peace: Peace and Peace Heavenly Land" this trip out of time, Sufi music lamentations Hebrew.
Succinct, right? Just how Jordi Savall would like his music described? The translations are, quite simply, appalling. To translate into English, one needs an English native speaker to do the translations. The worst thing is that such shoddy work makes the Festival organisers look stupid.
Thanking our "spencers"?
At least we do have a presenter in the evenings who speaks reasonable English, although it would be good if someone explained to her the correct pronunciation of the word 'sponsors'. A "spencer" is an article of intimate underwear.
However, while the odd mistake is charming, lots of mistakes are unacceptable. We'd like to see English announcements made in the afternoons too, as they used to be, as so many visitors to the Festival are English-speaking.