Thursday, September 21, 2006

A hombre called Horseradish

My faith in AltaVista's Babel Fish translation service is not as high as it might have once been. If my name appears in any text translated from Spanish to English, it comes out as Horseradish Tree.

I suspected a deliberate bug implanted by the programmers because I know full well horseradishes don't grow on trees. But guess what, there is a tree called a horseradish tree, or Moringa oleifera. And from the horseradish tree, you get Ben oil. If I was still a teenager, I'd resent that.

Moringa - now that's a name with a certain no sé quien. A bandit hiding high in the Sierra Morena, maybe. The dreaded El Moringa, scourge of the rich and corrupt, beloved of the senoritas, writer of wrongs, probably a deposed nobleman. Nope, I don't mind being a Moringa.

Perversely, if you try to translate Horseradish Tree into Spanish, you get exactly what you asked for, i.e. Árbol Del Rábano picante. Put a Don in front of that and you have the full name of said nobleman.

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