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BS: bad translations

dianavan 30 Mar 04 - 08:19 PM
Peace 30 Mar 04 - 08:31 PM
rangeroger 30 Mar 04 - 11:02 PM
Johnny in OKC 31 Mar 04 - 12:49 AM
Johnny in OKC 31 Mar 04 - 12:51 AM
GUEST,freda 31 Mar 04 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,A wandering Minstrel 31 Mar 04 - 07:34 AM
Jeanie 31 Mar 04 - 07:56 AM
Amos 31 Mar 04 - 10:03 AM
Crane Driver 31 Mar 04 - 10:13 AM
Cluin 31 Mar 04 - 04:06 PM
TheBigPinkLad 31 Mar 04 - 04:10 PM
Peace 31 Mar 04 - 04:20 PM
Shanghaiceltic 31 Mar 04 - 05:34 PM
TheBigPinkLad 31 Mar 04 - 06:28 PM
michaelr 31 Mar 04 - 06:47 PM
Donuel 31 Mar 04 - 07:11 PM
Johnny in OKC 31 Mar 04 - 08:02 PM
Uncle_DaveO 31 Mar 04 - 08:08 PM
Blackcatter 31 Mar 04 - 08:48 PM
LadyJean 31 Mar 04 - 11:54 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 01 Apr 04 - 12:01 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 01 Apr 04 - 12:14 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 04 - 12:56 AM
michaelr 01 Apr 04 - 01:04 AM
Amos 01 Apr 04 - 01:21 AM
michaelr 01 Apr 04 - 01:40 AM
Blackcatter 01 Apr 04 - 01:48 AM
Gurney 01 Apr 04 - 02:21 AM
GUEST,Dáithí 01 Apr 04 - 04:20 AM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Apr 04 - 10:17 AM
mike the knife 01 Apr 04 - 03:21 PM
JennyO 03 Apr 04 - 12:56 AM
darkriver 03 Apr 04 - 03:35 AM
darkriver 03 Apr 04 - 04:12 AM
Arnie 03 Apr 04 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,apricot 23 Apr 04 - 12:06 PM
SueB 23 Apr 04 - 01:51 PM
Firecat 23 Apr 04 - 04:15 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 04:21 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 24 Apr 04 - 04:39 PM
SueB 24 Apr 04 - 06:59 PM
Melani 26 Apr 04 - 10:36 PM
dianavan 26 Apr 04 - 10:42 PM
Joe_F 27 Apr 04 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Melani 28 Apr 04 - 02:36 PM
Sunga 28 Apr 04 - 05:32 PM
JennyO 30 Apr 04 - 09:50 AM
Allan C. 30 Apr 04 - 10:07 AM
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Subject: BS: bad translations
From: dianavan
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 08:19 PM

My daughter and I were grabbing a bite to eat while waiting for a train in Genoa. It was late but we found a little restaurant
within walking distance that had an Italian/English menu. I told my daughter I would like to try the 3rd item on the menu and
waited for her response. The English translation said, "Handkerchief with slick!" It was actually lasagna with basil sauce.

My favorite is a restaurant which advertises. "Fired rice and Nooldes"

I suppose this isn't a bad translation but poor spelling.

What are some of the "funnies" you have seen?

d


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Peace
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 08:31 PM

Was supposed to have been an ad for Coke that was being sold in Japan. It was when Coke was using the slogan, "Coca Cola, the life of the party." Some how it ended up translated, "Coca Cola, if it's not at your party, you are dead." I heard that, and I'm not sure I have all the facts correct. However, . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: rangeroger
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 11:02 PM

dianavan, could that be "Fried Rice and No 'Oldes Barred"?

rr


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Johnny in OKC
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 12:49 AM

Phrase book for visitors to America:

"The English How she is Spoke"

Love, Johnny


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Johnny in OKC
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 12:51 AM

From a cartoon I saw many years ago ...

Translator sitting between two dignitaries:

"He wants to plant a perpetual friendly flower
in the fragrant nose of your distinguished fellowship,
or something."

Love, Johnny


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST,freda
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 02:24 AM

An African chieftain flew to the United States to visit the president. When he arrived at the airport, a host of newsmen and television cameramen met him. One of the reporters asked the chief if he had a comfortable flight. The chief made a series of weird noises...."screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z-"...and then added in perfect English, "Yes, I had a very nice flight."

Another reporter asked, "Chief, do you plan to visit the Washington Monument while you're in the area? The chief made the same noises..."screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z"...and then said, "Yes, and I also plan to visit the White House and the Capitol Building."

"Where did you learn to speak such flawless English?" asked the next reporter.

The chief replied, "Screech, scratch, honk, buzz, whistle, z-z-z-z...from the short-wave radio."


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST,A wandering Minstrel
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 07:34 AM

These three from genuine greek restaurants I ate in last summer

Fishing with Muscles (bouillabaisse)
rice bondaged with garbage leaves (dolmades)
roast beer (Beef! I hope)


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Jeanie
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 07:56 AM

Maybe some of you might like to pay a virtual (or real) visit to the
Camping de Cognac campsite in France. Amongst the many attractions on offer:
"For most courageous, the track of balls will be grounds of exploit between friends."
Alternatively, you could go in for a little "Church Romance" or visit one of the laundrettes which are listed under "cultural and historic treasures" as being worth a trip. Become intoxicated by this campsite which, they tell us, is "full of Cognac air."

Oh, and they thoughtfully provide "sets of various children" - so you can leave your own ones at home.

Bonnes vacances, mes amis !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 10:03 AM

The government of Uzbekistan explains today: "In the process of being detained, 20 terrorists blew themselves up."


Oh, those terrorists!! Always up in the air about something.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Crane Driver
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 10:13 AM

The bad spelling in restaurant menus is intended to distract your attention from the bad maths in your bill.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Cluin
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 04:06 PM

The one I heard was that the "Come Alive With Pepsi" slogan was interpreted in Chinese as "Pepsi Brings Your Dead Ancestors Back From the Grave". And similarly, the words "Coca Cola" were translated in China to mean "Bite the Wax Tadpole".


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 04:10 PM

Ford Motor Company had trouble selling it's Nova model in Mexico.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Peace
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 04:20 PM

Cluin: You have it. My memory is fading with age. Well I knew it was the Orient AND a soft drink, didn' I?


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 05:34 PM

I have seen bean shoots as bean shits. Tasty

At an aerospace expo I saw the translation of the term 'fire and forget' (it was for an air to air missile system) as'fire and I cannot remember'

At a technical presentation given by a French company the title was meant to have been 'The shift if sensing technology' but unfortunately the F had been missed out.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 06:28 PM

Those rench, hey?


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 06:47 PM

This may be apocryphal, but purportedly comes from instructions in English at a Japanese car rental company:

When pedestrian of foot heave into view, first tootle him melodiously.
If he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor.


Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Donuel
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 07:11 PM

The Grandaddy of them all was in China where Coca Cola phonetically means "bite the wax tadpole"

The phonetic name has been changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Johnny in OKC
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 08:02 PM

Ancient story probably told by Mark Twain:

Seated next to an oriental gentleman at a formal dinner,
the American attempted to make conversation.

"You like-ee soup-ee?" he inquired.
The oriental nodded pleasantly.

"You like-ee salad-ee?"
Again a nod.

"You like-ee beef-ee?"
Nodding again.

At that point, the host rose to introduce the evening's
guest speaker, Mr. Yung Chee Loo. The oriental man spoke
for half an hour on economics, in perfect, beautiful English.

Returning to his seat, he asked the American,
"You like-ee speech-ee?"


Love, Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 08:08 PM

On the other hand, it is classic that educated foreign persons who learn English may be much more precise in their use of their new tongue.

The dapper Frenchman sat down in the restaurant, and indicated, as part of his order, that he desired "peaches and cream".

When he was served, lo and behold, the beautiful fresh peaches had been sliced into a bowl and nice fresh cream poured over.

He complained: "I asked for peaches and cream. You have brought me peaches with cream!"

Quoth the waitress, "That's the same thing, isn't it?"

"Ah, no! Mademoiselle, would you say that a woman and child is the same thing as a woman with child?"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Blackcatter
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 08:48 PM

Yeah, but who the hell orders Peaches and cream the way he wanted it?

------------

My Cannon printer give a low-ink waring like this:

"Although printing is in progress, a low ink warning occurs."

Not particularly funny or bad, but just an odd sentence structure from a company that's been invested in the U.S. market for many, many years. I love it everytime I see it. It's almost haiku-like.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: LadyJean
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 11:54 PM

I had a French teacher in high school who had a master's degree from the Sorbonne. She told us about the time she went into a Parisian butcher's and asked for Chicken cleavage.
My sister spent a month in Spain asking waiters for the hillside, La Quenta instead of La Questa, the bill. Eventually a waiter set them straight. She and her friend laughed. All the other customers in the restaurant wanted to know what the Americans were laughing at. The waiter told them. They then heard laughter coming from the kitchen, and as they left the restaurant, a small group followed them, chanting La Questa La Questa La Questa.

I bought my sister a Squirting Spouting Dolphin, mostly because of the directions on the back, that included such gems as, "After Playing the Dolphin the batteries must be removed out." I thought the directions would amuse our blind cousin. I didn't think he'd try to feel the dolphin as it was doing laps in a dishpan, or that it would shoot a jet of water right in his face when he did. But it certainly did enliven Christmas.
Does anyone know where I can get another Squirting Spouting Dolphin? Several friends are looking for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 12:01 AM

heloo., i think fiat panda means shit in mexican, but i'm not sure really.john


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 12:14 AM

any way= Malcom is the spanish word for shit, not sure who posted itm but might have been wolfgang or mudgaued, not sure really, sk Malcum Douglas, he will know.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 12:56 AM

Ooh, bad curry tonight, jOhn?

Blackcatter -- you may enjoy these (not sure where they're from):

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error
messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction
rules - each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first line, 7
in the second, 5 in the third. They are used to communicate a timeless
message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through
extreme brevity.

Here are 16 actual error messages from Japan.
------------------------------------------------------------
The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.
--------------------------------------------
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
-----------------------------------------------
Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.
------------------------------------------------
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
--------------------------------------------------
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
---------------------------------------------------
Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
-------------------------------------------
Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.
---------------------------------------------------
A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.
--------------------------------------------------
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
---------------------------------------------------

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
---------------------------------------------------
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But ! we never will.
------------------------------------------------
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
---------------------------------------------------
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
----------------------------------------------------------------


Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 01:04 AM

My cookie had gone.
Then I re-registered, and
Again all is well.


Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Amos
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 01:21 AM

Too late, it seems
Macintosh users
Were right all along


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 01:40 AM

Scansion, Amos, scansion!!


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Blackcatter
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 01:48 AM

Michael - remember, if Microsoft is using haiku, Apple HAS to be different!


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Gurney
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 02:21 AM

Not sure now where I read it, but it seems that if you translate the english phrase 'Out of sight, out of mind' into Russian, it comes out as 'Invisible lunatic.'


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST,Dáithí
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 04:20 AM

I heard that the Phrase "The Flesh is willing but the Spirit is weak", when translated by a software program into Russian, then back in to English, reads:
"The meat is rotten but the vodka is diluted"
Great fun, this thread!
Dáithí


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 10:17 AM

The "Japanese" haikus above are delightful, but I'm extremely doubtful that they're actual Japanese real-world error messages. For one thing, in Japanese the syllable count would be off from haiku specs. In other words, they are haikus only in English.

Sorry to be a wet blanket.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: mike the knife
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:21 PM

Babelfish is the source for some spectacularly bad translations.
When I was living in Germany I made a few bad mistakes:
- Once told my girlfriend's mother I was preparing a vegetable Enema(Einlauf) when I meant to say Cassarole (Auflauf).
- Same girlfriend- told her & her friends that the cheese I had brought to the party was purchased from a crazy person (Irrer) with an erection (Stander) on the market, rather than from an Irishman (Irer) with a Stand (Stand) on the market.
A good laugh at my expense...

Here's a good link (or two) for English/German wordplay: http://www.chronik.ch/sprulex.shtml
http://www.susanne-und-dirk.de/runaways.html
http://www.frigger.de/engl.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: JennyO
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 12:56 AM

Mitsubishi doesn't sell their Pajero SUV under the same name in Spain, as they do in the rest of Europe, because in vernacular Spanish "pajero", or something that is pronounced similarly, not sure, can mean something like, ahem, "wanker".


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: darkriver
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 03:35 AM

You folks might like this site, which deals a lot with the phenomenon of the Japanese use of English for commercial purposes (signs, ads, etc.). Some hair-raising examples there, with plenty of photos. For example, a sign in Japanese and English:

NOTICE OF TAKE STAIRCASE

  • Fasten armrest by order, please don't ambulate in staircase.
  • Children and old folks take staircase ought to accompany by keeper.
  • Please don't resort and diaport at passageway.
  • Strictly prohibit bestride the armrest.
  • Bicycle don't take the staircase.
  • Don't protrude the tartness and keenness out the staircase.


regards, doug aka darkriver


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: darkriver
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:12 AM

whoops, sorry. The link I just posted doesn't work, but this one does:
Engrish.com


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Arnie
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:25 PM

I always smiled when passing the Bradford curry house that catered for Weeding parties. Bring your own trowel??


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST,apricot
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:06 PM

Try this site too loaded with really funny stuff.
www.seoulsearching.com/language/mistranslations.html


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: SueB
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:51 PM

Wolf Rains, a Japanese anime DVD with English subtitles, contains phrase "lofty teeth". What are lofty teeth? We have never been able to discover.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Firecat
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:15 PM

Another anime, called "Ah! My Goddess!" that my best mates Becky and Stacey introduced me to, has the following lyrics as part of the theme song "Even though I give you a puzzle, you cannot work it out becase you are slow", "Cover me gently with your shirt", "I pinch your arm, can you tell how I feel?", and "Though the bride is happy, you yawn hugely"!

I also like the instructions on a Korean kitchen knife "Keep out of children"


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:21 PM

Lofty teeth??????? Maybe the upper set.

I remember Yoko saying that as a child, she was instructed not to "smile like a shopkeeper" because it was undignified. Is it still considered slightly "common" to show your teeth?


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:23 PM

Lofty teeth? I know a girl who had 'em when I was a young man -- made kissing interesting...

A


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 04:39 PM

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

In a Chinese restaurant menu in Berkeley, California: "Sweat Breads" (sweet breads).

Going around the 'net some time ago was this, from a sign in a Swedish shop: "Ears pierced while you wait."


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: SueB
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 06:59 PM

Thanks for the tip, Firecat - my children are always on the lookout for new anime - we'll be looking for Ah! My Goddess!


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Melani
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 10:36 PM

In my developmentally disabled son's IEP (written by a native English speaker): "It is important to note that the teacher believes Daniel has the same skills as his mother."


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 10:42 PM

Melani - I hope you asked for that sentence to be corrected.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 05:09 PM

An old story has it that a telegram "Your son suspended for minor offenses" was translated from English to Russian, then retranslated to English, and was received by the parents as "Your son hanged for juvenile crimes".


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 02:36 PM

Actually, dianavan, there are a few things he does better than I do!


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Sunga
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 05:32 PM

You can have great fun at this
online translator by translating sentences or paragraphs from English in to another language and then back to English.

For example, I just did this with the sentence:
"Who's to say who's right or wrong?"
and ended up with:
"Who has for saying who has right or forgery?"

I'd imagine you could keep going back & forth until there was almost no resemblence at all to the original - rather like the old game of telephone.


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: JennyO
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:50 AM

I decided to copy something from the "Eh Up" thread, and translate it from "English" to French, then back again, and this is what I got:


Noow then `owd Muppit me lad. Grand t see thee abowt. Geeetins from` East Raaadin uv Gods awn Coonty. Thas nowt wron wi Bratfud al av thee nar! Wen thas a part `t graatest cownti in all a`tEngland, tha`s ar` rayt wi mee! Now sithi al the Shufildrs an Barslyeytes. Dont thi gun gittin thi sens upset. Wi love thee us well even if the ant got thi own Raadin! :-)

Owd Muppit de ` de Noow puis je jeune homme. T grand voient l'abowt de thee. Les dieux UV est de Raaadin de from` de Geeetins ébarbent Coonty. Thee de poids du commerce d'Al de Bratfud de wi de wron de nowt de Thas nar ! Thas de Wen un cownti graatest du ` t de pičce dans tout l'a`tEngland, mee de wi de rayt d'ar` de tha`s ! Maintenant Al de sithi le Shufildrs un Barslyeytes. Les sens de thi de gittin de pistolet de thi ne dérangent pas. Le thee d'amour de Wi nous bien męme si la fourmi obtenait le thi possčdent Raadin ! : -)

Owd Muppit of ` of Noow then I young man. T large sees the abowt thee. Gods UV is of Raaadin of from` of Geeetins trim Coonty. Thee of weight of the Al trade of Bratfud of wi of wron of nowt of Thas nar! Thas de Wen a cownti graatest of the ` T of part in all the a`tEngland, mee of wi of rayt of ar` of tha`s! Now Al of sithi Shufildrs Barslyeytes. The directions the thi one of gittin of gun the thi one do not disturb. The thee of love of Wi us well even if the ant obtained the thi one have Raadin! : -)


Well it wasn't all that easy to follow in the first place, but now? How did they get "do not disturb"?


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Subject: RE: BS: bad translations
From: Allan C.
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 10:07 AM

Sunga, you can have the same fun with the Translate function you'll find available at the foot of each post here. Some time back we had a lot of fun translating and retranslating some common songs. Maybe someone can link the thread. I can't find it.


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