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29 October 2014 @ 04:57 pm


That is how No Fear Shakespeare 'translates' "A king of shreds and patches." As though anyone uses the word "ragtag" these days for anything other than, say, scrappy underdog sports teams, or motley bands of heroes in lesser fantasy scenarios. Misfits are "ragtag," No Fear Shakespeare!

I accidentally stumbled across this information, and I felt I needed to inflict it on other people, so they could share my pain.

ETA: I looked up "ragtag" in the dictionary, just to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. Merriam-Webster gives the definition of "ragtag" as "made up of different people or things and not organized or put together well." Which…no? Under the fuller definition, we have "ragged, unkempt" (which doesn't fit either; I am pretty sure that Hamlet is not actually upset about Claudius' sartorial choices), but definition 2 reads like this:

2: MOTLEY 2 (a ragtag bunch of misfits)

(from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ragtag ).

So I think I was pretty much on target. (The definition also gives a usage example about a ragtag sports team. It really does.)

In conclusion: I hate these No Fear Shakespeare things so much.
negothicknegothick on October 29th, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
You've hit their real problem: students who have trouble with reading Shakespeare won't understand their "translations" any better--even if they were correct. I've just been hammering away at that on an assignment where I ask them to paraphrase lyric poems. I tell them that a word-by-word substitution won't be accurate. Yet that's what "NoFear" does most of the time.
tempestsarekind: cheveril glovetempestsarekind on October 30th, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
Yes - there's not really a way to make "a king of shreds and patches" any simpler than it is (which is supposed to be their stated goal), and substituting another phrase just makes it wrong!
negothicknegothick on October 30th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
Metaphors just don't translate. I checked out NoFear for Macbeth, and here's the translation for a famous one: "Life is a story told by an idiot, full of noise and emotional disturbance."
There now, that's all clear, isn't it?
tempestsarekind: oh noestempestsarekind on October 30th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
"Noise and emotional disturbance." !!!

Wow, that's terrible.