Facebook. | R.S.


The machine translations you get on Facebook - how do they work? Is it a Facebook translation, or Google or what? No matter, because how ever they are done, someone should be having a look just to make sure. Assuming they understand the language that's being translated into, that is. Which was English in the case of an item that appeared on Sa Pobla town hall's Facebook page earlier this week.

It was to do with an agreement between the town hall and the Council of Mallorca's Institute for Social Affairs, which seemed to be about food supplies to the senior citizens' residence, the name of which is Residencia Huialfàs. This comes from the Muslim-era farm, which was itself a reference to the wetlands of Albufera. When Sa Pobla was founded in 1300, the full name was La Pobla d'Huialfàs.

Which is all very interesting, but is not the reason for mentioning Huialfàs. No, it was the machine translation. Google, or any translator system for that, would be bound to struggle with Huialfàs, and so the Sa Pobla Facebook proved. Most unfortunately, Huialfàs was Halfass.

I suppose you could say that it was a half-arsed attempt at translation.