For my birthday in October, one of the gifts I received was Lost in Translation by Charlie Croker. It’s a funny collection of odd English phrases and sentences from around the world. Some of the mistakes come from bad translations, but many are simply due to people trying to write in English even though their language skills aren’t quite up to it.
A Chinese hotel tells guests: “We serve you with hostiality.” A Japanese shopping bag offers this message: “Now baby. Tonight I am feeling cool and hard boiled.” In the Czech Republic, people are warned: “No smoothen the lion.” An Australian dish is “dumping soup” while an Indian restaurant includes “Aborigines” in their brinjal bhaji and a Greek dish is “chopped cow with a wire through it and bowels in sauce.” Yum.
This is a light, fun book that made me giggle. I wish people took translation more seriously but if they did, we wouldn’t have these mistakes to laugh at.
Friday Finds for Writers
15 hours ago