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    Surrealism and the Beirut Municipality Website

    Beirut city falls on the eastern beach from the Mediterranean Sea, borders it a west the sea, and south its suburbs and the region of its immortality an extension to a hunt and its neighborhood, Wsh
    And Beirut falls in a moderate region that is distinguished by the quality of the weather and straightness in the climate and a beauty in the view, and mentions some of the sources by that Beirut name derived from (Pyrite)
    And when Beirut is said in the Ottoman time, but he the meek Beirut is meant by it inside its fence and while is but from regions that enter today Beirut scope
    And the truth, the development of Beirut city outside the fence, but it came a result social economic and demographic requirements, where the city numbers started increasing successively
    Beirut city falls on the eastern beach from the Mediterranean Sea, borders it a west the sea, and south its suburbs and the region of its immortality an extension to a hunt and its neighborhood, Wsh
    And Beirut falls in a moderate region that is distinguished by the quality of the weather and straightness in the climate and a beauty in the view, and mentions some of the sources by that Beirut name derived from (Pyrite)
    And it appears that this fence accompanied the city since its foundation on some historians opinion that goes back with it to the Canaanites time Walhthien, and they believe by that a rise

    ” The revolution of the heavy oil ” its burial in its cradle yesterday is the decision of the Cabinet the support of the container with three thousands liras and its value treasury

    Beirut got in the Roman era a superior fame, being a greater and more important center an institute of the law all over the empire, and it has increased an importance this more famous

    We certainly cannot increase tourism nor encourage foreigners to settle in Lebanon if our institutions fail to enhance our international image.

    The Municipality of Beirut for instance launched a new web portal, www.beirut.gov.lb, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It did not, however, hire a translator to develop the website’s English and French pages. The Municipality found it handy to resort to Google Translate, which – at best – translates words from Arabic into English or French, but cannot translate sentences and totally ignores grammar rules.

    Yet, the webmaster adopted Google’s translation, with jewels such as the masterpiece posted above. The text simply makes no sense. A five year old child, if asked to write about Beirut, can come up with something better.

    We do not expect all web workers to be professional translators, but we do expect them at least to read what they post. We do expect the Beirut Municipality civil servants and council members to check out what their website says about their city. We do expect USAID, as a funder, to examine whether American taxpayers’ money was properly used. These are legitimate expectations, especially when Beirut is the World Book Capital.

     “… the Canaanites time Walhthien, and they believe by that a rise.”

    This is how the text ends. Hopefully, this does not annouce the end of tourism in Lebanon.

    The Beirut Municipality website is a perfect symptom of the terrible situation of Lebanese public administrations: misuse of funds, laziness, and no sense of ownership of anything “public”.

    Tajaddod Youth calls today on the Municipality of Beirut to publish a proper English and French translation of its portal’s Arabic pages, followed by an innovative web campaign to promote our capital. Tajaddod Youth moreover stands ready to support such a process through its members’ skills, aspiration to a modern Lebanon, and respect for their capital’s glorious history.

    12 responses to “Surrealism and the Beirut Municipality Website”

    1. Moe says:

      Am not surprised at all !!! All the info on the .gov.lb are either old or not reliable or miss translated

    2. Rami says:

      let’s thank God(s) there’s no Ka’m Makam (قائمقام) in Beirut
      otherwise they would translate it as “standing not standing” or “debout ne pas debout”!!!!
      it would be pornographic if google used some other terms!!!
      ya latiiiiiiiiif

    3. Rayan says:

      I remember when this municipality was elected and they won, they promised to make a website and to keep updating it with the latest municipality news and projects.

      Six years on, we see that they did make a website, but its a very shameful one that I would rather we not have (of course I would prefer a better one).

      Now, 6 years, it is elections time again. Due to the fact that the current municipality is backed by a certain party, Beirutis will unfortunately vote for it again, without re-evaluating the previous six years of no work, bad traffic, and bad and slow road maintenance, and not battling “parking space ownership” on public streets.

      This is no democracy, this is “zaim worship”, and I hope it will someday end.

      Yes for a competent municipality, yes for for more knowledgeable, aware voters with a true sense of citizenship.

    4. Doreen says:

      I called up Beirut Municipality to ask about this, because even the Arabic page is a disaster (there’s a section on electricity in the Beirut history page!). I spoke to an employee who told me that the webmaster in charge of the website CMS is not making any changes to it, and won’t give them the username and password. And apparently, he is close to the mayor. (That’s what he said – I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the information!). Apparently the municipal council has received many complaints about the website but they’re doing nothing about it.

    5. Rami says:

      i would not believe that Beirut has had an official website! Bravo guys…
      as for the raised issue the solution it’s very simple, progressive and innovative:
      let’s hire a standing not standing for Beirut
      he will be in charge of the web maintenance and follow up!!!! Mish fikra?!?!?!

    6. Doreen says:

      The most hilarious translation is Umm all Shara’e3 = Mother of Sharia! Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    7. Samer says:

      The website says: توقيع مذكرة تفاهم بين بلدية باريس وبلدية بيروت

      Barki bise3douwon bi Paris ytarjmo el website mazbout lal french 😀

    8. […] needs humans when Google-Translate can do the job? As you probably guessed, the results are funny. . Do you like this post? Would you like to be always updated with new posts on this website? If […]

    9. Hello, such a awesome write-up. I stumbled upon your blog in google and I’ve got to say, It’s actually especially informative.

    10. Autokary says:

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    12. lara says:

      I am searching for this famous website but it seems that it is no more on the network. This is the major problem in Lebanon translators are not esteemed and the public institutions prefer to “ywafro” on the account of the credibility. I called recently the MoH the person who replied said Mrs. Vallet if we need any translator we will search int he “majliss El Khedme el Madaniyeh” come on guys are we kidding here one single translator can not afford to do all the job by himself a public website as this is the mission of a team junior translators senior ones a proofreader an editor a copywriter in lebanon a translator is usually confused with an editor why are people studying arab or foreign literature they are not losers who can not study medicine they are as important as any other persons in lebanon the pb many professions are considered “madyaiit waket” and not “lazmeh” therefore “lachou” to pay a confirmed translator google can do the job “chil ya fil” …

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