Re-post – A Way with Words

What follows is a repost from this blog. Thanks to a lovely crash with MovableType, I ended up losing my entire site. While I could have recovered almost everything, most of the posts were far from “ever-green” and it seems more logical to do and occasional repost.

I have a freind who is making it his life’s work to translate and publish thousands of pages of ancient spriritual writings. He is doing so because the current translations make almost no sense and are a burden to read today. However, the messages in the work are deeply moving and deserve a translation forward. In many ways, “it is all in the translation”. Here is a post of translation failures.

A Way with Words

Originally published at Lummpy’s Cornere 2005.11.30

English: Icon for translation projects Françai...
English: Icon for translation projects Français : Icône pour les projets de traduction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not big on e-mail chain letters but I shall confess that there are a few people who send me classic ones. Marz is one such person.

I am also not too keen that I am uni-lingual. Most of my closer friends are, at least, bi-lingual and I feel that us Americans are a bit arrogant, we mandate that the whole world speaks our language.

Finally, It bothers me when I see that a local corner store announces its obtainment of a liquor license by putting up a sign that says “We sale beer now”. Nonetheless, there is some humor in everything.

Below is something from Marz. Dziękuję.

  1. In a Tokyo Hotel:
    Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notice.
  2. Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
    – English well talking.
    – Here speeching American.
  3. In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
    To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.
  4. From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo:
    When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.
  5. In a hotel in Athens:
    Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.
  6. In a Yugoslavian hotel:
    The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.
  7. In a Japanese hotel:
    You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.
  8. In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
    You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.
  9. In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
    Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.
  10. From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner:
    Coolers and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.
  11. On the menu of a Polish hotel:
    Salad a firm’s own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose beef rashers beaten up in the country people’s fashion.
  12. In a Rhodes tailor shop:
    Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
  13. A sign posted in Germany’s Black forest:
    It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.
  14. In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency:
    Take one of our horse-driven city tours – we guarantee no miscarriages.
  15. Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand:
    Would you like to ride on your own ass?
  16. In a Bangkok temple:
    It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.
  17. In a Tokyo bar:
    Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.
  18. In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
    We take your bags and send them in all directions.
  19. In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
    Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.
  20. In a Budapest zoo:
    Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
  21. In the office of a doctor in Rome:
    Specialist in women and other diseases.
  22. In an Acapulco hotel:
    The manager has personally passed all the water served here.