There’s no need to be a bullfighter to be a translator — or even Spanish!

This week, I’ve discovered a Facebook page of a company formed by a group of female translator friends — I suppose — with a controversial picture as a cover, at least to my eyes.

In the picture, four characters seem to be Spanish, English, French and Portuguese or Brazilian, representing the languages they work with. This would have been funny if the Spanish hadn’t been a bullfighter.

“Not everyone in Spain is a bull fighter or supports bullfighting. Thanks.” was my stern but restrained comment. Their answer stated they weren’t bullfighters either and that the picture pretended to be a funny representation avoiding resorting to the typical flags.

Why not? Some people can't tell Spain and Mexico apart. (source)

Why not? Some people can’t tell Spain and Mexico apart. And they do speak Spanish. (source)

The opinion exchange would have ended there hadn’t the recurrent spontaneous self-proclaimed ombudsperson showed up. “What an unsuitable comment… Anyway, good luck, girls!” replied the meddler. On the other hand, two other girls admitted the chosen representation was rather unfortunate, but it was still cute and it did the trick — the flattering saved them.

A text with misspelled words and loan translations would do the trick as well, however, translators are supposed to go further and make it right, not just understandable. Don’t try avoiding the typical solutions if you can’t do it properly.

I appreciate their effort and the picture is truly cute, nevertheless, the promotion of such ludicrous clichés by professionals who aim to build bridges between cultures is most unfortunate. I wouldn’t hire someone with this sort of blundering introduction.

In any case, the Portuguese or Brazilian character can only be told apart by elimination, since it could perfectly be a cowboy. The international identification of this language must not be that important.

P. S.: Although showing the original picture would have been quite enlightening, I want to avoid advertising them or even be accused of slander — which they can do themselves pretty well, in fact.

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