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This article was originally written in Dutch by the Flemish user Lambic and translated to English by yours truly, Lars863.
I'd like to nominate this article at VFH, but since I translated it, I'm not sure if I should have a Review done first, so I'm just making sure I don't get home from a cold fun fair, so to speak.
It's called Roemenie because we couldn't replace the featured Romania. It is named after the Dutch name (Roemenië), just without the "trema".
This article was translated as part of the Foreign Office Project, and of course a good review and maybe a highlight would be great for the FO.
Well, please do give a lot of hints. The article might not be changed a lot, since it is a sheer translation of the Dutch article (of course, there's always room for a "deal"). However, I do need the comments to be able to guess how good we'll do at VFH.
User:Lars863/sig | 19:43, January 12, 2010 (UTC)
- Review incoming, take cover! Sequence 03:57, January 19, 2010 (UTC)
|Humour:||6||The humour in the article is alright at the moment, but while I smiled a few times there weren't really any times that I truly laughed out loud. As you said the article was translated from Dutch which limits what you are able to do with the article if you want to keep it in a recognisable form, but there are still some things you can do. Read through HTBFANJS and see if you can apply some of the techniques there to the article. A lot of humour from articles isn't just derived from the content but from the way the article is actually written.
There are some parts of the article where it begs to be expanded upon as there are areas ripe for mocking. The public transport section for example could include something about the traffic authoritites still being unable to get the two buses and one tram to run on time despite the fact there is a whole government department assigned to make sure they do. You could also have something on the industrial revolution and things that people perceived would happen because of it during Morticia's rule. For example after all the citizens celebrate since they don't have to carry her anymore, but shortly after attempt to revolt after realising most of them had just lost their only job.
Sometimes the wording interferes with the joke such as the translation of Transylvania being "past the woods", looking at the translation Wikipedia give "on the other side of the woods" sounds much better. This also opens up the ability to make a joke at the country's expense. E.g "on the other side of the woods" was Latin slang for communal cesspits that were commonly built on the otherside of a wood to keep the stench away from the townsfolk. This was one of the first interlanguage practical jokes, implying to anyone who spoke Latin that all of Transylvania was one huge cesspit while the inhabitants themselves wouldn't understand why everyone would snicker at them when they announced they were from Transylvania.
I know you might not want to stray from the original article too much but at the moment I don't think it contains enough truly funny parts to be VFH worthy. Reading through HTBFANJS and trying to add some more jokes would help the article go a long way.
|Concept:||7||The concept of playing up the typical portrayal of Transylvania and vampires fitting into a modern concept is quite good. This could be expanded into having a section that actually deals with vampires and how they integrate into Romanian society. You could even relate it back into having the vampires considered as an underprivledged minority like the Jews and how poor their life is nowadays E.g anti-vampire legislation, discrimination, hate attacks etc.
There is of course the problem that this is an article on Romania while another article on Romania exists. Coincidentally an article about Transylvania also exists (although personally I think is is a bit better than that one). One way around is to actually address the fact that this article was originally Dutch and include an explanation about it in the introduction. Something like "Romania is an East European country, but since there already exists an article for that we had settle with the name Roemenie. It's a word from Dutch, so there's no chance of any other language ever possibly wanting to use it until the end of time." That might not be perfect but I do think you will need to address the issue somehow. Perhaps have the Foreign Office create a template for pages that have been translated from other languages if they haven't already done so.
|Prose and formatting:||5||Since you translated the article from Dutch there are a fair few errors in the article. Some of the words could be changed to have a better flow, for example rather than longlivingness (which isn't technically a word anyway even if we understand what it means) should be changed to longevity. As I mentioned in the humour section sometimes the wording lessens the impact of the joke somewhat. Generally jokes either need to be instantly recognisable as funny and hence have the impact of understanding it straight away, or built so that the reader only understands after thinking about it and gets a slow smile that spreads over their face. Some of the jokes don't do either of this because of the wording, so it may be a good idea to read back over it and pick out the lines that seem the least funny to you and see if you can rewrite them to have a better punchline. There were also a few places where I think the Dutch has been retained. For example the word Belarest. It was only after thinking about it for a while that I figured you may have actually meant Bucharest - the capital of Romania. If this isn't the case then...well maybe you pretend it is, because not knowing about it is less funny than knowing about it. Just pretend that the name was changed from Belarest to Bucharest. Or give an explanation about how the name was changed from Bucharest to Belarest. Either way you need to let people know about it. There are also a couple of red links that need to be fixed or removed.
If you aren't a native speaker of english perhaps you might want to consider asking another editor if they can go through and fix up the parts where the enlish seems a bit weird. There's just those few parts where a native speaker of english will read it and think 'hmm, that doesn't look right somehow'.
I think you have done a really good job translating it though.
|Images:||7||There are a lot of images in the page which helps to spice things up although I wonder if you might consider removing one or two. The picture of the counts' residence takes up a large area in the middle of the page, creating a bunch of white space and creating a large block between the the two parts of text relating to one subheading. Generally putting pictures in the centre of an article isn't a good idea unless it is for a particular joke or purpose. The other one you might remove is one of two down the bottom. Either the second tram photo or the one of Wattman. I say the second tram photo because it's basically just doing the same thing as showing the first tram with the batman symbol on it's front and overall isn't that amusing. The Wattman photo just seems out of place. By itself it's a picture that demonstrates a silly character, but doesn't have any reference in the text. If you had to keep on of them I would say to keep the Wattman photo but make some mention of him being either the mascot or driver of the tram in the text. One thing to consider is expanding upon the captions in the photos. Images are a great way to make a quick one liner so could do that by commenting on the appearance of the faces or something.|
|Miscellaneous:||7||I never really know what to put here since I cover most of it in the above paragraphs. Overall it's a decent article although if you put it up for VFH at the moment I don't think it would pass.|
|Final Score:||32||Don't be afraid to branch out and create your own content even if you had originally planned it as a pure translation. Some jokes that work in Dutch might not work so well in English so you need to write for the audience who will be reading it. With some more jokes and a bit of formatting it should turn out into quite a good article. Also remember to try and create a few links to it on Romanian related pages such as the Romanian template and the Romania article itself. If there is any thing about this review you want to discuss please feel free to contact me on my talk page.|
|Reviewer:||Sequence 03:57, January 19, 2010 (UTC)|