Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lost in Translation

Make Charlie Croker's day: buy his book "Lost in Translation". It will also make your day. Mr C has collected delicious examples of fractured English from around the world. I will give you a taster:


On a hotel television set in Belgrade, Serbia:
If set breaks, inform manager:
Do not interfere with yourself.
Notice in a hotel bedroom, Ethiopia:
To call room service, please to open door
and call Room Service. Please call quiet,
people may sleep.
In a Japanese taxi:
Please put on your seatbelt.
Prepare for accident.
Greek deodorant stick:
Push up bottom.
Japanese phone card:
1. Lift up receiever. 2. Insert phone card.
3. Dial 0999 + number. 4. Say hello.
Tourist site in Beijing:
No fight, scrap, scrabble, rabble, feudal,
fetish or sexy service.

Let's face it. Millions of people speak our language, but few of us speak theirs, so we need to suitably humble and charitable. Mind you, when faced in a Spanish restaurant with the English translation for "pinchitos morenos calientes" (spicy moorish-style kebabs) as "hot arab little pricks". I decided to have the veal instead.

1 comment:

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

I recall shouting very vociferously at Sky News when I lived in Oman at the poor standard of the grammar in their English text bulletins. But, unfortunately, it was all my fault...I was pronouncing 'said' as 'sayyid'...I had been away far too long...