Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Green light for 'Rape' in Colombia ... oops!

Well it may have seemed like a good idea at the time. In fact considering the pretty poor level of English in Colombia in general, most people probably have no issue with it, insofar as the meaning is lost on them. Plus, what it represents is something largely positive, or at least that’s the hope.

The Rape men; oh dear...
Politicians supporting Rape, including Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro (centre). (From Facebook.)
Yet, given the initiative is due to ‘breathe new life’ into Colombia in terms of development, promoting it under its acronym Rape is a tad unfortunate. OK, in Spanish this obviously does not have the same meaning as it does in English. It just stands for the not-at-all controversial Región Administrativa de Planeación Especial (Administrative Region for Special Planning, or something to that effect).

However, in a country that is officially trying to significantly increase the use of English among the populace, a little more thought could have gone into this one.
Sperm Sports, Bogotá.
Sperm Sports. Erm ... (From civico.com.)

Picture the moment when the guys behind this thing look to Big Daddy USA for some financial assistance: “Any chance you could fire us a few million dollars for our novel Rape project? We’re just trying to improve the lot for our most neglected and vulnerable.” “Erm, your ‘what’ project?” Cue a bit of awkward explaining.

Now even allowing for what appears a rather odd liking for not very appropriate English words in certain contexts, à la the adjacent photos, surely those working with Rape don’t really want the name. Well you’d hope so, once they’ve been told its English significance.
Colombia's alco store; just what we were looking for...
These stores could prove a hit in Ireland.

So here’s a suggestion. Rename it Región Administrativa de Planeación, Infraestructura y Desarrollo (Administrative Region for Planning, Infrastructure and Development; that works, right?), or Rapid in its acronym form. Much less offensive don’t you think? Indeed, it’s even progressive sounding. Heck, some people get paid big bucks for such consultancy work. Here I am proffering this for nothing.

You know where to find me guys.

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