Lost inTranslation!

Aug 10th, 2007, 04:24 AM
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Lost inTranslation!

Business trips abroad can be tedious and boring but sometimes we are amused and entertained on our travels by weird and wonderful translations:

In a Paris hotel elevatorquot;Please leave your values at the front desk"

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

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

In a hotel in Viennaquot;In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the porter"

From a Japanese car rental brochurequot; When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigour"

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

Hope those brought a smile to your face!
tod is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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These are great!

twina49 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 04:30 AM
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it's my current favourite loo-book too..

PatrickLondon is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 04:44 AM
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No laugh but I did smile when the flight attendant, right before I landed in Vienna, made some announcements and thanked us for our understanding (empathizing) the situation by saying "Thanking you for your comprehension."
sallyjane3 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 04:52 AM
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I am not making this up - my husband and I ate at this place and burst out laughing when we saw this. An Italian restaurant in Paris with the menu in French and English in smaller letters below:

Salade de crevettes et avocats
Salad of shrimps and lawyers!
beaupeep is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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in the 'I'm not making this up!' category, check this guy out:


When I first read his page on Chinese menu translations, I was giggling so hard my boss came to find out what was so funny!
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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My husband was a touring musician and was playing in the Netherlands somewhere. A young man got up on the stage after the first band and was trying to keep the crowd excited by shouting "We are really rocking now, haven't we?"
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 05:25 AM
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Not translation errors, but a couple menu items I've seen lately:
A dessert course of artesian cheeses --no, not from Artois, not from a well, but made by artists.
Mahi-Mahi served on a bed of mescaline greens. Probably very enjoyable, but I was afraid if I ordered it, I would be arrested.
gingerman is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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Actual menu items at a Korean/Japanese restaurant that was once in Silver Spring, Maryland: 3 ply pig meat; assorted marine products.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Sorry this is long - these were doing the rounds in email a long time ago, including some of those in the original post - oldies but still funny...

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

In another Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub.

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

In a Leipzig elevator: Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.

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.

In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

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

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

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

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.

In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

On the menu of a Polish hotel: Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beat 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 a Hong Kong supermarket: For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service.

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

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

Similarly, from a Soviet Weekly: There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

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 Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.

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

A translated sentence from a Russian chess book: A lot of water has been passed under the bridge since this variation has been played.

In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

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

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

In the window of a Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.

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

Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan: Stop: Drive Sideways.

In a Swiss mountain inn: Special today -- no ice cream.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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 Majorcan shop entrance:
- English well talking.
- Here speeching American.
Maria_H is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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To find this, I just went back to my journals of first trip to China in 1984...

In the lobby of a hotel in Nanjing:

"Pleasure your lady! Be sure to veil your good self of dancing band on rooftop knightly"..

Note: The dancing band had no instruments, but, boy, they were some dancers!

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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We must have been reading the same magazine MelissaH!

What about these flight announcements:
"As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings.
Anything left behind will be distributed amongst the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses!"

"Last one off the plane must clean it!"

A flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal"

"Smoking in the toilets during the flight is prohibited. Any person caught smoking will be asked to leave the plane immediately!"
tod is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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A little off the subject but similar. I'm currently trying to rent out an apartment with a listing on Craigslist. Apparently I'm being scammed by Nigerians who want it sight unseen and are ready to send fake cashier's checks.

One email came to me with "I am effervescent to rent your apartment". Another said, "I hope the place is salubrious". Another told me he is a "doktor" in London and that he, his wife, and 3 year old "kid" want to relocate to the US. He then said his US fiance will sent a cashiers check. It took me a while to figure he must have meant financier?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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As it happens, my paper had a piece about the official attempts to deal with menu translation in China in advance of the Olympics:


A lot of it is the "false friend" syndrome. I once got a letter(at work) from Francophone West Africa with the oddest phrase in it, and I had to go backwards and forwards with the dictionary to work out what it was trying to say. Eventually I realised that the author had seized on the first meaning for "commode", rather than anything to do with "convenient" (which is probably what he was trying to say). That's the only way I could explain "Please accept this chest-of-drawers expression of my gratitude".
PatrickLondon is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Or, PatrickL, maybe he did send you a chest-of-drawers in gratitude, which got seperated from the note and is still languishing somewhere at customs...

Or could it be that his gratitude was multi-layered,.. and knows no depth ?

I know, its Friday and not a moment too soon.
Mathieu is offline  

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