Vertours: (Oh) My Verona!

From Vertours’ “My Verona” site, a description of the Arena di Verona, “the most important monument in the city”:

Roman amphitheater of the first half of the Ist century a.D., one of the best kept in the world. The monument – symbol of the city – was named after the Latin toponym which means sand that covered the stalls. It is the third roman amphitheater for dimensions (after Colosseo in Rome and the amphitheater in Capua), reached in a well kept condition until today…. Under the monument have been found traces of a complex system of hydraulic plants through which the water was poured in for the naumachia (water games) and to clean the amphitheater…. From 1913, the Arena has become center of the most important lyric open theatre in the world.

Comment: Numerous Italian business sites have been “translated” into Engliano, as have the websites of hundreds of important museums, churches, and national monuments. This is just one example. Notice the typical “Engliano” inability to tell the difference between Italian and English sentence structure. A further, unmistakable clue that a non-English-native has been at work comes in the last line: “From 1913, the Arena has become….” Italian students of English have a difficult time mastering the proper use of the simple past tense vs. the present perfect tense with expressions of time. What the translator meant to say is either “Since 1913, the Arena has been” or “In 1913, the Arena became….” A poorly prepared English-speaking translator is capable of all kinds of mistakes, but this isn’t one of them.


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