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#126106 - 01/31/04 05:00 PM Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
With all the (understandable) grimness here as of late, I thought we could all use a good laugh, so I dipped into my realm of language to come up with these brilliant examples of badly translated phrases. Enjoy.

"Ich bin ein Berliner" - "I am a jelly donut." (actual English translation of Kennedy's speech)

"I lust for the poles." - what was supposed to be "I love the Polish people." Jimmy Carter's speech to Polish Sejm (senate).

"Please to be putting slot A into tab B." - I kid you not, from a set of instructions I have regarding putting together a toy from China.

Anyone else got any good examples of mangled language?

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#126107 - 02/01/04 03:14 AM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Scot, I really like this uplifting and light-hearted post.

I have been thinking on this for the last 10 hours and cannot come up with any more. Not constantly though. ;\)

Somebody (that's all of us, we are somebody) come up with some more please, I'd like to see more. \:\)

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#126108 - 02/01/04 12:44 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Yves Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/03
Posts: 93
Loc: Canada
Paris hotel elevator
Please leave your values at the front desk

Tokyo hotel
It is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not read this notice

Bucharest hotel
The list is being fixed for the next day. During this time you will be unbearable

Leipzig elevator
Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up

Belgrade 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 then going alphabetically in national order.

Athens hotel
Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11am daily

Sarajevo hotel
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid

Japanese hotel
You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid

Moscow hotel
You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursday

Swiss menu
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for

Hong Kong tailors shop
Ladies may have a fit upstairs

Bangkok dry cleaners
Drop your trousers here for best results

Paris dress shop
Dresses for street walking

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


Hong Kong advert
Teeth extracted by the latest methodists

Rome laundary
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time

Swiss mountain inn
Special today... no ice cream

Copenhagen airline
We take your bags and send them in all directions

Moscow hotel
If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it

Norwegian lounge
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar

Tokyo shop
Our nylons cost more than common but they are better for the long run

Acapulco hotel
The manager has personally passed all the water served here

_________________________
You know you love someone when you want them to be happy even though their happiness means you're not part of it. ~Author Unknown~

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#126109 - 02/01/04 02:34 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
More grist for the mill!

Club XYZ - Dancing and prancing until all hours. Let the flashing lights spin your head around in all directions!

- From a Japanese Dance Club advert.

Bizarre product names:

Pocari Sweat - Japanese sports drink. World Famous!

Yone's Suck-All: Hygenic moisture absorbing pads for bathroom use - Chinese toilet paper.

Sex-Wax, extra slippery - Japanese surfboard polish (I kid you not! Damn those wacky Japanese surfer dudes and their wild-@$$ ways!)

More advertising ramblings:

My Life, My Gas - Japanese National Natural Gas Company Slogan (You haven't lived until you see Tom Cruise deliver this line - with a straight face!)

Wallace & Gromit Treacle Custard, leaves nothing to the imagination - Puzzling Japanese ad for British sweet named for a pair of claymation characters (Great animated short series, though - Kudos to the British for that. Keep 'em coming, Ray Park!)

New York, why bother? - Credited to a EuroVision non-English tourist ad for New york City. My sentiments exactly! \:D (Oh, like you didn't expect that from a Massachusetts boy!)

God Help Us! - Christian Church ad. (Again, my sentiments exactly!)

One last product:

Water Salad - ? Mystery drink from our brothers and sisters in Japan. Can ANYBODY tell me what the **** a "water salad" is supposed to be?!?

Keep 'em coming!

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#126110 - 02/01/04 09:30 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Yves!

I can't breathe! Thanks...I really needed that laugh!

Hugs,

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott

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#126111 - 02/02/04 12:01 AM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
:rolleyes: Pretty darn smart elevators in Belgrade. How'd they do that? :rolleyes:

Good laughs needed and appreciated, thanks,
Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#126112 - 02/02/04 11:44 AM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
This relates to the bust of the biggest pot growing operation in Canada's history. It was being done in the old Molson Brewery Plant north of Toronto in Barrie Ontario

http://www.cbc.ca/mondayreport/videos/ontario.html

The tune is actually used in Ontario Advertising. I post this as a bit of fun and not because I condone the use of drugs.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#126113 - 02/03/04 05:37 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1122
had a good laugh at these. thank you \:\)

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#126114 - 02/03/04 09:48 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Yves Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/03
Posts: 93
Loc: Canada
A few more...

The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention that the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"

In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

In an East African newspaper: A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.

In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours -- we guarantee no miscarriages.

On the box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong: Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life.

Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

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

Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "Manure Stick."

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

Puffs tissues tried to introduce its product in German only to learn that "Puff" in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.

In a Hong Kong supermarket: "For your convenience, we recommend courageous, efficient self-service."

A hotel notice in Madrid: If You Wish Disinfection Enacted In Your Presence, Please Cry Out For The Chambermaid

An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).

Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.

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.

The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!"

The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem-Feeling Free", was translated into the Japanese market as "When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty".

Ford had a problem in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company discovered that the word Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals".

In a Bangkok temple: It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

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

On the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

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

When Kentucky Fried Chicken entered the Chinese market, they discovered that their slogan "finger lickin' good" was translated as "eat your fingers off".

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

When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.

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

In a Tokyo shop: Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run.

When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.

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

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.

Two signs from a Mojorcan shop entrance: - English well speaking / - Here speeching American.

Tokyo hotel's rules: Guests are requested not to smoke and do other disgusting behaviors in bed.

In the window of a Swedish furrier: Fur Coats Made For Ladies From Their Own Skin.

Sign in a German hospital: No Children Allowed In The Maternity Wards.

The sign at the concierge's desk in an Athen's hotel:" If You Consider Our Help Impolite, You Should See The Manager.

A notice in a Vienna hotel: In Case Of Fire Do Your Utmost To Alarm The Hall Porter.

Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan: Stop: Drive sideways

_________________________
You know you love someone when you want them to be happy even though their happiness means you're not part of it. ~Author Unknown~

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#126115 - 02/03/04 10:11 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
\:D \:D \:D \:D \:D

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#126116 - 02/03/04 10:26 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
FlyWM Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Michigan
This is great, I really needed a smile today, and this certainly gave me a couple, thank you all. I am glad we have some light-hearted happy posts up as well, thank you all again.

scott

_________________________
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible in not a declaration, it's a dare.

--Adidas

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#126117 - 02/04/04 10:19 AM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Smile? I'm past smiling...past laughing...I'm crying!!!

Now my 16 year old daughter reeeeally wants a shirt that says "I saw the potato"!!!!

\:D \:D \:D \:D \:D \:D \:D

Thanks!

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott

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#126118 - 02/05/04 11:16 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I have made so many, my own manglations! (Ha)

(Possible trigger)
I think worse one, when I still was competitive athlete, I was at a competition, and had won two competitions before this one, so I suppose was some kind of 'favorite' for the moment. So a press person is talking to some of us, and he ask me if I feel it will be tough competition, or will I just 'blow everyone away' (ha, yes, like that ever was possibility!) And I have been speaking English for maybe two years then, but not knowing much of the 'slang', of course. And I was wishing to answer question, so I said no, I do not think it ever is easy competition for me, and I think that it's possible that anyone could blow anyone else! (And behind him, an American friend is saying, 'Away, Leosha, you mean away!!' and laughing hysterically!) Oh yes, and other most embarassing one I think, is to not know that the word 'quiche' is NOT pronounced 'quicky', and ordering a 'quicky' in a restaurant (and getting nasty look from waitress, as she stalk away).
That is enough. I am sure if Andrei were here, he could provide more examples!

Leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#126119 - 02/05/04 11:50 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
\:D \:D \:D \:D

You guys are killin' me!

I'm addicted to this thread now!

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott

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#126120 - 02/07/04 10:19 AM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
Leo, just a thought, perhaps you should have someone prepare your statements to the press AHEAD of time!

Hey, everyone in sports here talks in cliches anyway, so you'll be okay, no matter WHAT pre-written answer you give them.

Example -

Reporter: So, if your team doesn't perform well on points and it comes down to a tiebreaker, do you think your side can pull it off in the clutch?

You: In the end, it's now winning or losing, but how we carry ourselves as athletes. It's a thrill just for us to make it so far and there's no shame in losing to a better team. However, since we all give 200 percent, I'm more than certain that we'll overcome the odds and pull out a win. Let me just say that I congratulate and respect our opponents and we look forward to facing them for the championship, no matter who winds up as a finalist.

The humor here is that EVERY coach, manager, whatever, for ANY competative sport uses ALL of these at some point!

So, where's my check for writing your press speech? \:D

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#126121 - 02/08/04 06:09 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I think also, Chevrolet have problem when they try to market their car 'Nova' in Mexico. They have hard time, and it not sell so much, and finally they have to stop sell it down there. And it is only some time later that they learn that 'no va' in Spanish, means 'It doesn't go!'

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#126122 - 02/09/04 05:50 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
The truth is, Leo, I use this story with my more advanced English students as a reminder that cultural/language awareness is JUST as important as knowing what you WANT to say.

Still, nice to see we share (again! \:D ) a lot of sensabilities.

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#126123 - 02/09/04 06:03 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
Speaking of cultural awareness, this isn't a language mismanagement as much as a cultural warning: Be aware of the culture when you're giving gifts. What YOU think is being nice, can be taken as an affront, or at the very least, another example of an "idiot American !"

Examples -

A business executive was leading a team-building exercise with his Indian coworkers in New Delhi. As a gift, he placed pictures of the teams in nice, expensive leather frames and gave them to his colleagues, who were horrified at the gesture. (The cow is considered Sacred in the Hindu faith)

A fellow in Japan was looking for an appropriate gift for a boss' relative who was getting married. His gift of expensive kitchen cutlery was accepted with uncomfortable silence, especially from his boss. (Giving anything that can cut, like knives or scissors, as a gift is considered a symbolic "cutting off," or ending, of a relationship)

Speaking of Japan, I was invited to a dinner by some Japanese students and they took me to a very nice resturant (this was when I was just starting out as an ESOL instructor). Things were a little rushed between courses, and the entree was served just after the rice. In order to clear my area, I stuck my chopsticks into my bowl of rice so that they were pointing straight up and down. After (yet another!) uncomfortable silence, my students explained that this was NEVER done at the dining table, as this WAS done at Shinto/Buddhist funerals right after cremation of the dearly departed. I didn't ask for details, and they, thankfully didn't offer any!

In Korea, an American business manager wrote up the name cards for people attending his meeting, using a red pen. The Korean attendees were stunned and only mentioned at the break that writing a person's name in red ink was only done at funerals, and only for the newly deceased. (Brings a whole new meaning to the term, "I killed them at the meeting!" \:D )

Just remember, brothers and sisters, mind your manners, no matter WHERE or WHO you visit! \:D

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#126124 - 04/24/04 06:51 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Actual Chinese Movie Subtitles
1. Same old rules: no eyes, no groin.

2. Gun wounds again?

3. Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep.

4. A normal person wouldn't steal pituitaries.

5. The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold?

6. Take my advice, or I'll spank you without pants.

7. Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?

8. I'll fire aimlessly if you don't come out!

9. You always use violence. I should've ordered glutinous rice chicken.

10.Beat him out of recognizable shape!

11. I got knife scars more than the number of your leg's hair!

12. Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected.

13. How can you use my intestines as a gift?

I wish i know what these were translated from, but I am sure they are not correct!

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#126125 - 08/08/04 08:50 AM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I wanted to add something to this thread. I was talking with another person in the chat room tonight, and somehow this came up. It is not a mangled translation, but rather a practical joke played on a non-English speaking person (being myself).

Of course, this only happened once. But while walking around in a city with several friends, one who speak both English and Russian, the other two who speak only English, I was given the opportunity to ask my first question in English, namely, what direction is the hotel. My friend told me the proper pronounciation of the words in English, and I was quite proud to be able to be the one to ask this momentous question, even though I would not have understood the answer. But still, it is exciting.

So I go up to this well-dressed older lady, smile, and lay the phrase on her:

Hey pretty lady, how much you charge an hour?


Just a thought for a joke to play on your non-English speaking friends! Just keep in mind, you will only get the enjoyment out of this joke ONCE!

Leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#126126 - 08/08/04 07:32 PM Re: Thought for the Day - Mangled translations
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Leosha
a kicked butt is the same in any language !

\:D \:D \:D

dAVE

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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