Anyone curious about the French take on the America's Cup fiasco is in for a lesson on the difficulties of translating colloquialisms, bureaucratic frustration, and swears.
Le Monde recently covered the fiscal tussle surrounding the incredible shrinking regatta: Organizers claim sales and hotel tax revenues from the race will suffice to offset anemic private fund-raising.
This was not part of the original arrangement; the city was supposed to be made whole beforehand – with tax revenue serving as a cherry on top. Per the contract, however, the America's Cup Organizing Committee must merely "endeavor" to meet its fund-raising goal.
"I've shouted publicly to the rooftops how ashamed I am that I see that language" – the vagueness about "endeavor" — "and not reading into what it said. I was fucking played. All the members of the Board of Supervisors were fucking played," Supervisor John Avalos told SF Weekly on Feb. 20.
Here's how Le Monde translated that:
"J'avais publiquement crié au scandale pour dire mon opposition à l'emploi du terme bancal 's'efforceront,' et je peux aujourd'hui dire que tous les membres de l'assemblée se sont fait foutrement avoir," a-t-il déclaré le 20 février dans l'hebdomadaire SF Weekly.
This is a solid — but not exact – reconstruction of Avalos' lament ("I shouted publicly to the rooftops" wouldn't mean the same thing to a French speaker). Here's a translation of their translation:
"I publicly cried scandal to express my opposition to the use of the wobbly term 'endeavor,' and I can today say that the members of the assembly were fucking played."
Incidentally, running the business end of Avalos' quote through a Google translator results in an incorrect — but vastly entertaining — result: "I can say all members of the assembly are done fucking you."