Sep 22, 2006

Losing something in the translation

Translation, undoubtedly is tricky business due to quirky singularities of various languages and alas something will always get lost along the way, like... a 3000 year old city.

English sightseeing brochure printed by the municipality of Jerusalem:
"Jerusalem. There is no such city!"

Huh? Where'd it go?

What they MEANT to say, according to the original Hebrew version: "Jerusalem. There is no city like it!"
[source]



More amusing (or downright creepy) translations from my funny e-mail collection:



In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: "We take your bags and send them in all directions."

In a Bucharest hotel lobby: "The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable."

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: "Ladies may have a fit upstairs."

In a Bangkok dry cleaners: "Drop your trousers here for best results."

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."

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across an Orthodox monastery: "You are welcome to visit the cemetary where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursdays."

In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: "Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists."

Outside a Paris dress shop: "Dresses for street walking."

In a Tokyo bar: "Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts."

In an Acapulco hotel: "The manager has personally passed all the water served here."

A sign in a convenience store window: "If you write bad checks, we will prostitute"

In a Yugoslavian hotel: "The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid."

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."

In a hotel in Athens: "Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 am daily."

In a Japanese hotel: "You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid."

In a Rhodes tailor shop: "Order your summer suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in a strict rotation."

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."

From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel A/C: "Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself."

In the office of a Roman doctor: "Specialist in women and other diseases."

In a Budapest zoo: "Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: "Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar."

Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand: "Would you like to ride on your own ass?"

In a Tokyo Hotel: "Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not to read notice."

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5 comments:

buruburu said...

Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Rotflmao!

nuntius said...

I was watching a show on tv few years ago, it was a story about some kids from france visiting greece. The documentary was in french and there were greek subtitles. Suddenly i read "...and here are the hotels where human sucrifices were taking place". The imazing translator heard "otel" and considered that it's "hotel" rather than "autel", which is the french word for the sacrifice-places! I believe there were some ppl avoiding hotels for a while, after this show.

V-Grrrl said...

These are great. Very funny. I like going upstairs for a fit.

Nemertes said...

I saw Jesus Christ as a soldier! :p

Snake (a Cambridge kind of guy) said...

Many funny ones to choose from, though, for some reason, I'm partial to "women and other diseases."