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Cup of Merde: News of the City Being “Fucking Played” Reaches France 

Wednesday, Apr 10 2013

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."

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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