Talk about bad translations!

Old Mar 14th, 2003, 09:09 PM
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Talk about bad translations!

Planning the Loire Valley portion of my trip this June, I was looking for a good site on L'Abbaye de Fontevraud in English that I could send to members of my group. On the English version, obviously computer translated, of francebalade.com I found the following rather astonishing sentence:

Until the XVIIème century the Abbess was elected directly by the Chocolate éclairs, then this election was done starting from candidates introduced by the King of France.

Anyone care to guess what the original French was?
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 09:33 PM
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I think that if Chocolate Eclairs did the voting, the world would be a better place.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 09:44 PM
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Cute, Betty... I should have been able to figure it out, but I succumbed to cheating. For those who want a hint.. the word should have translated as "nuns".

Even funnier than "Ich bin ein Berliner" or "I am a Danish".

Thanks for the "rigole"...

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 01:08 AM
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Hi

I didn't guess it but ..........
religeuse (SP ?) are cream filled eclairs with a large ball at the bottom and a small one at the top. They are supposed to look like a nun - hence the name.

Peter
http://tlp.netfirms.com


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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 02:38 AM
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I read your post this morning and thought it was very funny, then while at work today I got a fax that has one of my all-time favorite bad translations:

"To whom it may concern,

We are honored to know your beloved company through the Internet. It is believed that you have to deal with foreign papers and documentations in practices, which are necessarily to be translated. As a company dedicating to translation and consulting, we are pleased to afford you excellent services tailored to your need with reasonable charges, which can economize your time greatly. Here is the price list attached for your prudent consideration."

It's not so much that the translation itself is funny, it's that it's from a TRANSLATION COMPANY offering translation services!! I think it's hilarious!
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 04:44 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Betty,
I don't think that I will ever be able to look at a nun again without smiling.
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 05:23 AM
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Oh~ to live in a country where they elect the officials by chocolate~
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 05:38 AM
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Try this one, which came to me in a letter at work. I only solved it, despite a degree in French, by working backwards and forwards through a dictionary. Obviously the correspondent was trying to translate one of those very formal sign-off phrases used in French, meaning something like 'May I take this opportunity to thank you in advance'. But what I got was 'Please accept this chest-of-drawers expression of my gratitude'.

Hint - 'commode' is a word of many meanings in both languages!
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 05:41 AM
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Boo, Rex! You spoiled our contest! No chocolate eclairs for you! ;-) You, and Peter, are correct. The original was "Religieuses." (I was once addicted to those pastries!)
Just further proof of what I've often thought: the best use of online translation is to get a good laugh.
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 05:49 AM
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Interestingly enough, the "Ich bin ein Berliner" statement was actually correct. It's true that a Berliner is also a type of pastry. And in parts of Germany if someone is relating what city they are from in normal conversation they would leave out the article, but it is not universally so. And especially in formal speech to emphasize a bond as Kennedy was trying to do, including the article "ein" is not only acceptable, but it is necessary to carry the full meaning of the statement. If he had merely stated Ich bin Berliner, it would mean 'I am literally and in fact a resident of Berlin.' That's not the idea Kennedy was trying to convey. Got this from our German friends in Cologne and Bamberg on our trip last June.
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Rufus,
Would the same argument hold for "Ich bin ein Frankfurter"?
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