Simona Amanar interview MIS-translated

Google strikes again

This time, I’m going to do something about it

Simona and Alexandru, around the time of the 2007 interview.

Deluxe (screen name), in a comment, sent me a link to a 2007 print interview with Simona Amanar.  The point of his comment was to try to explain to me how the second “a” in Amanar is pronounced.  If I understood right, it is pronounced like the “i” in our English word “shit.”

He sent the interview link so I could see that, in fact, it’s acceptable in Romania to spell Simona’s last name “Aminar.”  I saw that in the headline, but, of course, I couldn’t read the interview, since it’s in Romanian and the few Romanian words and phrases I know are mostly vulgarity (which Deluxe has taught me).

So I put the interview page through good old Google Translate.

Below is the “translated” version of the interview.  Because Google has its head up its ass as far as translating from one language to another goes, there are always some weird phrases that show up and stand out.  I took some of those phrases and bolded them and put in front of them a numeral, which corresponds to notes at the end of the interview.  This way, you can get a whole new take on one of the greatest gymnasts to ever compete.

Here is the original interview in Romanian.

Here is the “translated” page.

(Note: in the “translated” interview, Simona is regularly referred to as “Delay” and “Postponement,” rather than just plain “Simona.”  Don’t ask me how that happened.)

Here’s the interview.

EXCLUSIVE deferred Simona: (1) I live a second life!

Simona biting her nails at the 1998 Chunichi Cup, mid-way between Atlanta and Sydney.

Simona delay (photo) is one of the most valuable gymnasts of Romania, (2) particularly noting the jump in the sample. She competed at high level between 1994 and 2000 and retired after the Sydney Olympics. At this time, (3) Simon tries to recover from childhood, with her son

SportM: You started gymnastics at six years, why this sport?

Simona delay: I was very small and my parents chose this sport. At first for me was a game, because (4) I threw into the den of sponges. But during this game has become more serious one. I really liked the beginning and I did not sorry that my parents chose for this sport. If I did gymnastics, I would have liked to do figure skating.

SportM: In 1994 you had the first year senior and a first-world, team gold. How did you feel with Milosovici and Gogean?

Delay: It was very hard, but (5) I was very happy that I managed to get along with Lavinia Milosovici, I always wanted to be the senior team. I helped the team and in 1995 I took my first individual medal, gold on vault.

The 1996 Romanian Olympic gymnastics team, left to right: Simona, Mirela Tugurlan, Alexandra Marinescu, Ionela Loaies, Gina Gogean, Lavinia Milosovici.

SportM: We can say that the Olympics in Atlanta have received the chance of a lifetime when you replaced it in the final at (6) Alexandra Marinescu individual compound?

Delay: I had a chance I missed it because I made it the medal. And others have had the chance to participate and have not received any medal. I was qualified for the final, but was only fourth on the team and the three were allowed to participate in the contest. (7) I was lucky that I give way to Alexandra and although much has been said, was not my decision, but the coaches and the federation. I’m glad I disappointed that I managed to get a medal.

SportM: What pleasant memories of the remaining World Cup in Lausanne?

Delay: I was world champion on vault, deserved and expected a medal. I have so many memories, but this is my dearest. And was second in the individual compounds, Svetlana Khorhina [sic], which I always struggled, especially in the individual all-around competitions.

SportM: Olympic Games in Sydney can be called the height of your career?

Elise Ray, a U.S. team embarrassment, getting ready to fall on her ass in Sydney because of a mis-set vault.

Delay: (8) Given what happened in Sydney, with that podium, and has not happened to win and the team and individual all-around podium, I think was the top career. Especially I want to finish the competition head on. Sydney was the largest race and I think the gold from the team says a lot.

SportM: Returning to the problem of the individual gold medal in Sydney, you think Andreea Raducan will be able to regain medal?

Delay: I want very much to get this medal, will be very difficult, because a regulation is very difficult to attack. (9) I when I accepted this medal, I accepted it because it is in Romania. Even if you do not accept it, all I was champion for so decided those Olympic Committee. But both me how and Maria Olaru Andreea Raducan we support as much as possible.

SportM: You were part of the national team for nine years, during this time of practice gym at the highest level. Feel some repercussions on health, after all these years?

Delay: I had problems, but I was lucky because I had to get surgery or go through difficult times, the other gymnasts. I have back pain, the ankle, but it makes sense.

SportM: You have won many trophies, you are part and Hall of Fame, with (10) Mindresti you most?

Delay: I am proud to Sport Award trophy which we won in 2000. Are the two Romanian Nadia Comaneci after having this trophy. (11) He [Nadia] was awarded in London on Open section, and an Oscar in the sport. After several years I have been accepted and Hall of Fame – something that shows that my results of exercise many people remained in memory. Without being immodest, we deserved this trophy!

MICHELLE OBAMA: Nadia, congratulations on your gymnastics Oscar. You've made us all proud! NADIA: Well, is not easy being successful with husband who is stupid. But then I guess you know all about that . . .

SportM: Who belongs in Hall of Fame?

Postponement: In our country also includes Nadia Comaneci, Bela Karoly [sic], Daniela Silivas, Catherine Szabo and Aurelia Dobre. May are gymnasts from Romania that should enter the Hall of Fame.

SportM: Once you give up exercise, what you did?

Postponement: When I dropped in the first place I graduated. After a year I got hired, we work in a school and a kindergarten, because I needed to do something. (12) I preferred antrenoratul because I know what to do performance. (13) We trained a group of children at school, I really proud to have participated with the children in a competition where I have won. After I finished school and kindergarten, I got hired as an assistant at the University of West. Now are the Romanian Gymnastics Federation and Vice. We tried to make as many gym.

SportM: Why did you choose you to stay in Timisoara?

Postpone: We chose Timisoara because, being in Deva, I was more easy for me to go to study here. What I was determined to stay and my husband, whom I met at Lavinia’s wedding in 1999. (14) We married and have a baby, it is very good!

SportM: Do you ever tempted to and train?

Delay: (15) yet, no! There are not prepared to train and, in addition, I want to deal as much as family and son. I want to live with him through it. I can say that I am a young mother and family we do not compare with what I did before. Second life is like for me, was the first gym.

FOOTNOTES

I think this cover is actually better than "I live a second life!"

1. “I live a second life!” The headline on the interview is as good as the shit we see on tabloids.  It makes you wonder what kind of “second life” Simona could be living.  She was pretty low-key and borderline boring as a girl during her competitive years, so: Crossdresser?  Prostitute?  Leader of a drug cartel?  Cheating on her husband every chance she gets?  If nothing else, Google has got us interested in reading further.

2. “. . . particularly noting the jump in the sample”  This may mean that Simona was found to be one of the most valuable gymnasts in Romania after doing a sample of gymnasts from many countries, and when they got around to American, Simona was looking particularly golden.

3. “Simon tries to recover from childhood, with her son”  Her son, Alexandru, was not quite 5 years old when this interview happened, so I’m not sure how much use he was in helping “Simon” recover, but more power to both of them.

4. “I threw into the den of sponges” I bet Romania is the only gymnastics nation with a den of sponges.  It sounds kind of spooky, especially if you capitalize it: Den of Sponges.

5. “I was very happy that I managed to get along with Lavinia Milosovici” Maybe Milo was more of a pain than we had thought.  I would have expected Simona to say she was happy that she managed to get along with Gina Gogean, who even Belu pulled his hair out over.

 

It's highly unlikely Alexandra's compound was anything like Auschwitz.

6. “Alexandra Marinescu individual compound” So first we have the Den of Sponges, now we have Alexandra Marinescu individual compound.  I wonder what kind of compound it was.  Adolf Hitler’s compound for the Jews in Auschwitz was no picnic, but I doubt Alex was that vicious, unless Belu and Bitang were the only inmates.

(Yes, I know this stupid story isn’t very funny, but I can’t think of anything funnier at the moment.)

7. “I was lucky that I give way to Alexandra” Yeah, she “give way” to Alex, all right.  Alex was so distraught over being “give way” to that she gave way to one of the worst beam performances in the history of gymnastics.

8. “Given what happened in Sydney, with that podium, and has not happened to win and the team and individual all-around podium, I think was the top career.”  Can you imagine if Simona talked this way in her native language?  Hell, her English is better than this convoluted, tangled-up shit from Google.

Notice in the interview linked in the paragraph above, Simona, in talking about her son, says, “Yes, I’m a mother, I’m marry, I have a boy, she have eight years.”  You think it’s possible that Simona learned English through Google Translate?

9. “I when I accepted this medal, I accepted it because it is in Romania. Even if you do not accept it, all I was champion for so decided those Olympic Committee. But both me how and Maria Olaru Andreea Raducan we support as much as possible.”  Either you know what she’s talking here about before she started talking, or you’re shit out of luck.

A house in Mindresti, Romania.

10. “Mindresti”  The reason I’m foot-noting this isn’t to point out how Google totally aborted the interviewer’s question, but to reinforce what I was saying earlier about what Deluxe told me about the second “a” in Amanar being pronounced like a short “i” and sometimes being actually spelled with an “i.”

A city in Romania, Mindresti, also called Balta Mindresti, is sometimes spelled Mandresti, but in that case, surely it’s pronounced as if the second letter is a short “i.”  In the first link in the previous sentence, good luck learning anything about the city, because I think Google may have had a hand in setting up that website.  In the second link, as I write this, it’s -8 degrees in Mandresti.  God help us. 

(One thing I think I do know is that Mandresti is pronounced without the “i” at the end – right, Deluxe?)

11.He [Nadia] was awarded in London on Open section, and an Oscar in the sport.”  Here we go again with Google’s inability to differentiate personal pronouns.  They always use “he” where “she” is correct, and vice-versa – just like Simona did in the video interview earlier, referring to her son as “she.”

So Nadia was awarded in London on Open section (???), plus he won an Oscar in the sport.  Here’s my idea of Nadia’s late acceptance speech.

NADIA: First of all, I will thank husband Bart Conner, because she help me learn English even though I obviously don’t teach her shit about how you pronounce gymnasts’ names.  Also I can thank coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, specially Marta for all the work he put into me on the beam. [Calling Marta a "he" might not be all that inappropriate.]  Finally, I think United States for giving me a home and all kind of money.  In future I promise to do better and work hard at getting Shawn Johnson out of this sport, since all he do is embarrass whole goddamn country.  Thank you.

12. “I preferred antrenoratul because I know what to do performance.”  The word I caught on here was “antrenoratul.”  On a regular Google search, I couldn’t understand shit within all the links it brought up, but it seemed like it was a Romanian word, based on what little I know about that language (aside from vulgarity).

So I clicked one of the links, and of course it went to a Romanian-language site.  So I put the site through . . . that’s right – Google Translate, and based on what came back, I think “antrenoratul” is either a soccer team or a heart attack.  You can look at that here.

(This shows you how fucked up Google Translate is.  If I could read Romanian, I could get through Simona’s interview in about ten minutes or less.  But since I can’t, I’ve already spent about two hours working on this motherfucking story, that probably nobody will read all of, anyway.

Yang Yilin was the type of child gymnast Simona could beat easily. In this shot, she reminds me of Moceanu on beam in the Atlanta EFs.

13. “We trained a group of children at school, I really proud to have participated with the children in a competition where I have won.”  This proves that even after retirement, Romanian gymnasts can still beat a bunch of school children in gymnastics.

14.We married and have a baby, it is very good!”  Shouldn’t that read, “. . . she is very good”? assuming we’re talking about her son.

15. “. . . yet, no! There are not prepared to train and, in addition, I want to deal as much as family and son. I want to live with him through it. I can say that I am a young mother and family we do not compare with what I did before. Second life is like for me, was the first gym.”  Google strikes again with a paragraph that makes absolutely no sense if you don’t already have an idea of what Simona is saying.  At least they got the “him” correct . . . assuming “him” refers to Alexandru and not the family as a whole.

As in: “Do you love your family?”  “Oh, yes, I love him very much.”

Okay, I’ve had it with this thing.  The good thing for me and for the majority of you is, we know Simona’s story well enough to sort through all the idiocy Google feeds us in this interview.

Now I have to go find something funny to write about and hopefully answer some comments, which are staking up again.  If you’ve written comments, be patient – I will get to her.

Sarah!

Posted on March 7, 2012, in Simona Amanar, ROM and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I liked this story very much, you did a very good job! I didn´t think you would care about that interview at all.

    Wow Google Translate almost screwed up all what Simona said. Surely one day you’ll be able to read Romanian easily, and you’ll laugh at the old Google Translate days :D

    Google translates Amânar as Delay or Postponement, because ‘amânare’ means postponement, and the verb ‘amâna’ means to postpone or to delay. So I guess Google looked for the most similar translation to that word.

    Den of Sponges = Groapa cu bureti.
    Groapa cu bureti is where that guy falls in in minute 7:00 of this video. I don´t know the technical word in English for that…Maybe hole with sponges? haha

    ‘Individual compound’ is the All-Around contest. In Romanian we say ‘individual compus’, and well, that’s the way Google translated it.

    Maybe Simona’s English is not very good, but it’s better than Steliana’s haha

    Mîndresti/Mândresti…uhmm I had no idea what exactly this had to do with the story until I saw it appeared suddenly in the translated version.
    The original question was: ‘cu care te mîndreşti cel mai mult?’ (what trophy are you proudest of?). I don´t know why Google didn´t translate mîndresti (to be proud of). It’s a fantastic name for a village/town though, lol.
    And yes! You got the î/â and the final ‘i’ thing very well in this case. Sunt mândru de tine, Sarah! (I’m proud of you, Sarah!).

    Karolyi/Karoly…bah, many Romanians write Karoly. Karolyi sounds too Hungarian for our taste, hahaha.

    You say: “Shouldn’t that read, “. . . she is very good”? assuming we’re talking about her son.”
    Her words were: “ne este foarte bine!”, which means something like “all is very good for us”, in the sense that life treat them very well.

    Antrenoratul…I laughed hard with this one and your researchs. ‘Antrenorat’ is the activity of the coachs; I’d say ‘coaching’. Antrenoratul is “the coaching”. In the interview Simona says that she prefered the school to ‘the coaching’.

    Google has real problems with the negative sentences. It translates them oftenly as affirmative sentences changing totally the sense of the speech.

    Very good the Nadia/Michelle Obama joke :D

  2. Haha! I thought this was hilarious.

  3. I think the den of sponges is the best!

    • Sorry this took so long. Yes: “den of sponges” is an awesome mis-translation. I know Simona “said” that, but I picture it coming from Gina: “Help, the den of sponges is oppressing me with immortal doom!”

      Sarah!

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