Archive for Found in translation

Aquatory

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Oh my melon!

Bryan Van Norden is a Visiting Professor at Wuhan University this semester, and he ran across an interesting bit of language play. Below is a still (taken with his cell phone) of a television commercial currently running in the PRC. It is for a watermelon juice drink. As you can see, the tag line is a bilingual pun, substituting guā 瓜 ("melon") for "God."


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Applenese2

In "Applenese", we examined the Chinese translations from the Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong of this Apple advertising slogan for Mother's Day last spring:  "A gift Mom will love opening. Again and again."

Now let's see what is done with the new Apple campaign for the iPhone 6, "Bigger than bigger",  in Chinese and other languages.

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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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