Jul 012010

Rampant enthusiasm as voters line up to cast their ballots

Entries for the 2010 Numéro Cinq Translation Contest have officially closed.

At this stage the competition splits into two streams: the official competition (adjudicated by competent and illustrious judges) and the people’s choice (adjudicated by, er, you). The judges have been sequestered at a secret location in Vermont (of all places) where they will have no contact with the outside world until they have made a decision (no food, water or conjugal visits). I don’t think any of you have a clear idea of the pressure, the loneliness, and the sacrifice that are the lot of a Numéro Cinq contest judge. Most of you are not aware of the death threats, the offers of bribes, offers of marriage, offers of first born children–the whole shoddy display of anxious, desperate writers who will do anything to win a coveted Numéro Cinq literary award (dg has to think of a name for the little statuette–he is thinking of the Golden Cockroach or the Blue Dog). (NB Some of your bribes are not getting through. Please write ATTENTION: NC on the envelope and mail it to dg directly. Best to send cash.)

Meanwhile, members of the Numéro Cinq community and the great unwashed (ie. anyone who wants to) can vote for their favourite translation by inserting a comment on this post (click on the comments button, upper left corner). It’s helpful to add supporting commentary. It is also helpful (but not necessary) to read the entries before voting. Remember wit and arrogance are the supreme values on Numéro Cinq. The official entry sheet is here (click on this sentence, yes, this one!). As with our previous contests, you can vote for anyone except dg. You can vote ONLY once (many Numéro Cinq members seem to get this wrong). You CAN change your vote as long as you make this clear when you vote. You can vote from July 1 to midnight July 6.


  22 Responses to “2010 Numéro Cinq Translation Award — The People’s Choice Competition”

  1. I vote a tie for all of them but mine — they’re all much more interesting, and each more fun in its own way.

    • Would that the official judges could find an easy way out like this. 🙂

      In fact, maybe you should be the official judge next time.

    • I’m going to take a chance and vote here, being, as usual, terminally confused about this technical issue.

      #1–Julie Larios; I like the consistent bovine theme throughout, and words like cheese-track, barn-huddle, cow-bellowing, etc.
      #2-Shy Anonymous (who I hope will ultimately reveal his/her identity); gefilte fish and the baths of laurel weeds; the venerable master of war-whoops.
      #3—Jake; I like his annotations, the goldfish theme, “bubbles inside of her wonder.”
      Honorable Mention for X, who translates “op straat” as “up street,” and is therefore a person after my own heart.

  2. I’ll have to go with Shy Anonymous on this one, unless she is chosen by the judge(s) for her lovely lines: “Do you want to hear more, my guzzywam, my heart and barn warmer: three seconds and the man died, suffocated in the wrung bedsheets, snuffed” …

    or Claire W, for the lines: “Want this drag, grow some, the green second was bedragging on him, in the laughy inner workings, wrong he was about Zack’s thingy with the handle on”

  3. This was a very difficult choice. Many great entries. I decided to pass on anything that involved fondling a wanker, ditto anything involving zits. Almost voted for Gary on the strength of his having translated “Frank” as “Fred,” which shows the signs of great translation – going with your instincts rather than what is superficially easy. In the end, though, I will give my vote to Anna Marie Johnson, based on a couple of images : 1) the untranslatable “goose struck” being something like “happiness was scattered far and wide in the manner of startled geese” and 2) the equally untranslatable “her desire was in America” being the kind of desire that disappoints when attained. A strange thought for the day after the 4th of July, and somehow right as rain.

  4. My vote goes to “shy,anonymous.” I love the matching rhythm between the original and the translation.

  5. I’m going to change my vote (we can do that, right?) and vote for Shy Anonymous. I think it works wonderfully rhythmically. I love reading it aloud.

    If he/she wins, will his/her identity be revealed?

    Or is Shy Anonymous his/her name?

    • Shy Anonymous is its name. This is a difficult case. But I am told “it” is delighted at the stunning number of votes its humble translation is receiving.

  6. I vote for the bravest of all entries, the rule bending raw creativity, that is Gary Garvin’s first entry.

    And Shy Anonymous because I love the word GUZZYWAM!

    Also DG’s translation was superb! The ever flamboyant merengue dancer from Las Vegas with little more than a high school diploma who never fails to disappoint our little family here on Numero Cinq.

    Sorry Dad, I know I voted three times but you can either pick one or give each of my votes a third of a vote!

    • Jake, Please, family secrets not to be revealed…remember, college fund? And you spelled “merengue” wrong–I fixed it.

  7. Jake,

    Your father disqualified that one. See what you can do to change his mind?

    “Merengue” looks like it’s spelled correctly to me.

    Why has this post automatically generated the post “Corporate Communism,” where you can find this quotation by someone at MSNBC:

    “And yet today we find ourselves as a country in two distinctly different categories: those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for ourselves and our families and those who would instead use our lawmaking apparatus to help themselves to our tax money and/or to protect themselves from true competition.”

    Why is the level of public discussion so low in this country?

    Would it be higher if more people entered these contests? I think so.

    Or maybe this is what we all need to do:


  8. I think we should have a new rule: The awarding of the [Golden Cockroach? Blue Dog?] should be contingent on the revelation of the author’s true identity.

    But that’s just because I’m incurably nosy.

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