Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm rich! Rich, I tells ya!

Fresh from my adventures of being an unwitting spammer (can we say "AOL has no defenses against hackers"?), I was happy to see my luck improve with the announcement of a fine, large inheritance:

From: Mr. Thomas Glasgow
Remittance Manager
Barclays Bank Plc.
Phone Number: +44-762-419-0409
Attention: Beneficiary
This Is To Officially Inform You That We Have Verified Your Contract Inheritance File Presently On My Desk, And I Found Out That You Have Not Received Your Payment Due To Your Lack Of Co-Operation And Not Fulfilling The Obligations Giving To You In Respect To Your Contract /Inheritance Payment.
Secondly, You Are Hereby Advice To Stop Dealing With Some Non-Officials In The Bank As This Is An Illegal Act And Will Have To Stop If You So Wish To Receive Your Payment Immediately. After The Board Meeting Held At Our Headquarters, We Have Resolved In Finding A Solution To Your Problem, And As You May Know, We Have Arranged Your Payment Through Our Swift Card Payment Centre In Europe, America And Asia Pacific, Which Is Then Instruction Given By Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
This Card Centre Will Send You An Atm Card Which You Will Use To Withdraw Your Money In An Atm Machine In Any Part Of The World, But The Maximum Is (Ј15,000.00) Five Thousand British Pound Per Transaction. So, If You Like To Receive Your Fund This Way, Ј15,000 Gbp For You To Withdraw For A Day And Each Transaction Is Ј5,000gbp Minimum Which You Have To Withdraw Ј15,000 Gbp For One Working Day Also Be Informed That The Total Amount In The Swift Atm Card Is Ј14.6 Million Gbp.
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Your Address Where You Want the Payment Centre to Send Your Atm Card.:
(3) Phone and Fax Number:
(4) Age and Occupation:
(5) Your Nearest International Air Port in Your City Of Residence:
We Shall Be Expecting To Receive Your Information You Have Stop Any Further Communication With Anybody Or Office. On This Regards, Do Not Hesitate To Contact Me For More Details And Direction, And Also Please Do Update Me With Any New Development.
Thanks for Your Co-Operation.
Best Regards,
Mr. Thomas Glasgow
Remittance Manager
Barclays Bank Plc
Barclays Bank Plc. Registered In England. Barclays Bank Plc Is Authorized And Regulated By The Financial Services Authority (Fsa). Registered No 1026167. Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited Is Authorized And Regulated By The Fsa. Registered No 973765. Registered Office For Both: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5hp. "The Woolwich" And "Woolwich" Are Trademarks And Trading Names Of Barclays Bank Plc. Barclays Business Is A Trading Name Of Barclays Bank Plc. Barclays Bank Plc Subscribes To The Lending Code Which Is Monitored And Enforced By The Lending Standards Board And Is Licensed And Regulated By The Office Of Fair Trading For The Provision Of Credit Products To Consumers And Related Services.
See? Good things can happen to all of us. I, for example, am going to send a copy of this along with my resume so they can see I'd produce much better written unsolicited emails than this one. Sooooo many things wrong with this I don't know where to start. But I'm intrigued by the idea that you could get 14,000,000 pounds from ATM machines.

If you have any suggestions on how to spend this munificence, please let me know. I expect to get my card any day now, as soon as I send them my SSN, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and send them the deed to my mother's house... 14 million pounds is nothing to sneeze at, after all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Pleasant Discovery

My French is better than Google's translator!

I've been listening to Daniele Balavoine's 1978 hit song, "Le Chanteur".

Interesting how different musical presentation is - I love that he just sticks his hands in his pockets! That bit at the end where he looks like he's undergoing some sort of monstrous transformation? Well, he's saying that he wants to (after achieving great fame) die unhappy but without regrets. (Considering he died in the mid 1980s in a helicopter crash in the deserts of Africa, he probably was unhappy, but in a different way than he meant in the song, I'm sure.)

Anyway, I can pick out some words here and there but wanted a better understanding of the song than my extremely rusty skills could manage. So first I found a good version of the French lyrics (not as easy as one might thing - lots of free lyrics sites out there but they often get lyrics wrong, even in English). 

Here are the first two stanzas (there's a reason you non-French speaking types are getting this):

Je m'présente, je m'appelle Henri
J'voudrais bien réussir ma vie, être aimé
Etre beau gagner de l'argent
Puis surtout être intelligent
Mais pour tout ça il faudrait que j'bosse à plein temps

J'suis chanteur, je chante pour mes copains
J'veux faire des tubes et que ça tourne bien, tourne bien
J'veux écrire une chanson dans le vent
Un air gai, chic et entraînant
Pour faire danser dans les soirées de Monsieur Durand

And here's the Google translation:

I m'présente, my name is Henry  (s/b something like "Let me introduce myself")
J'voudrais do well my life, to be loved (s/b "I want")
Be nice to earn money
Can be especially intelligent
But for all that would have j'bosse full time (s/b work hard, slave away, etc.)

I'm singing, I sing for my friends  (s/b "I'm a singer" - that one is like first month French!)
I Want to tubes and it runs well, runs well  (Idiomatic for "I want to make hit records" - Google gets a pass on that one)
I Want to write a song in the wind
A gay, chic and resulting  (it left out the word 'air', which I think is either a light song or an attitude)
To dance in the evening Mr Durand  (I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be "I will dance at the soirees of M Durand - soiree means 'evening' but is a very common word meaning an 'evening gathering', etc.)

For those who are concerned with the lyrics (that would pretty much be just me), this is pretty ridiculous - this isn't terribly idiomatic French in these two stanzas. The translator should do better than simply plugging in the first dictionary definition it comes to.

And for those who don't give a rat's ass about Europop, let this be a warning about how far to trust Google translator. Even if you use it, make sure you find someone with knowledge of the original language, or who knows what sort of mad scientist activity you'll end up involved in.