Archive for Found in translation

English "-ing" ending in Korean

Rich Scottoline sent in the following photograph of a box of crackers that he happened across in a Nonghyup food store in South Korea:

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Gourmet Chinese cookshop

Bruce Balden sent in this photograph of a sign on a restaurant in the Vancouver area:

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"People mountain, people sea" and "let's play"

Stephan Stiller says that my post on "Good good study; day day up" reminds him of "people mountain, people sea" (rénshānrénhǎi 人山人海), i.e., "crowded; packed; a sea of people".  This is another fairly complex Chinglishism that has entered the vocabulary of many English speakers who know no Chinese.  It was popularized by a Hong Kong music production company that took this expression as its name, and there was also a Hong Kong film that used this expression as its title.

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Please don't do nothing here: a Bengali conundrum

Sreekar Saha sent in this sign and expressed puzzlement over the English translation:

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Bean crud

Arnold Zwicky kindly called the following choice Chinglish label to my attention:

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Za stall in Newtown

Together with his "greetings from small-town Japan", Chris Pickel sent in this photograph of a sign, which was put up in his neighborhood for the aki-matsuri 秋祭り ("autumn festival").

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Bilingual bricks: Google as "Valley Song"

Here is a closeup of a remarkable work of installation art that is being shown at this year's Venice Biennale:

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Boostez votre carrière

R.S. writes:

Remember when using English words to create French counterparts was considered (I believe this is the technical term) a shonda?

Me neither. Still the case in Quebec, apparently, where the STOP signs say ARRET, but in the Hexagon apparently not so much.

In support of his case, he sends along this ad from Le Monde:

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Delicious snakes

To celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Snake (shénián 蛇年), the following sign is presently on display in a Chinese hotel lobby was on display in a Chinese hotel lobby in July 2009 or before and is being circulated among friends:

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Sea Bay Restaurant

Thomas Lumley sent in this nice multilingual pun from Sydney, Australia:

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Englishy Mandarin

The following feature from the Nandu website includes many strange and droll language games:

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Me Old China

Michael Robinson was looking through this Flickr group dedicated to photos of Chinese restaurants outside China, "Chinese Restaurant Worldwide Documentation Project", which includes around 17,000 photographs, when he came upon this photo that was taken on December 23, 2012 in The Lanes, Brighton, England, GB:

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Except for access

Jonathan Smith spotted this photograph of a sign in Hong Kong that is part of a blog post decrying impenetrable official language:

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"Have a good day!" in Mandarin

Gloria Bien (who has been teaching Mandarin for more than forty years [she was my first-year teacher]) heard this sentence at lunch yesterday:  Zhù nǐ yīgè hǎo xīnqíng 祝你一个好心情 ("[I] wish you a good mood").  She remarked:

I was stunned.  How can anyone wish a good mood on me?  But our intern, a native Chinese fresh from Beijing in August, declared that this is actually said, as an equivalent to "Have a nice day."

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Ansori

I'm in Groningen, where I participated in Martijn Wieling's PhD thesis defense and a workshop. Earlier in the week, I gave three talks at a workshop organized by DGA on "Traitement de l'information multimédia" at ENSTA in Paris. Between the various events and the travel I haven't had time to post anything for a few days, so when one of Martijn's paranymphs showed me this SMS message, it struck a chord:

mi no camin tumoro no andesten go x bas ni for tren you no camin for mi tumoro monin ansori

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