Archive for Lost in translation

Anti-mouth-bowls

Jan Söhlke sent in this photograph taken in a shop in Vienna:

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Awesome foods

Felix Sadeli sent in this list of colossal mistranslations of food names. We've already seen several of these and explained a number of them on Language Log:

Here I'll just give brief explanations for four of the droller items in Chinese and Japanese on the list.  Perhaps Language Log readers will be inspired to follow suit for some of the remaining items, especially those in other languages.

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Enter here

From Bob Sanders comes this sign at a burger joint in the Melbourne, Australia airport:

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Braised double bacteria in abalone sauce

Tim Leonard sent in the following photograph of a curious menu item (via Reddit):

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Sandwiched in an escalator

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Hundreds die in a sandwich press

Just as some folks have a special knack for being able to unravel "The latest word soup from the Bloomberg headline crew", I'm usually able to make sense out of Chinglish that is inscrutable to most readers.  Here's a humdinger sent in by Matt Trevyaud:

Using method: Ready to slice sandwiches and stuffed, in the middle of two sandwiches into a stuffed, hundreds die in a sandwich press, take off the broken edge and die, a lovely delicious sandwich snack is ready.

It's apparently a real set of directions for a sandwich cutter manufactured in China.  When posted, it usually comes with a photograph of the graying, crumpled paper on which the directions are printed in an undistinguished typeface that looks thoroughly authentic.

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Everywhere, anywhere

From Duncan Smith, by way of William Gibson on Twitter (ultimately from Lee Unkrich):

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China flushes India

The following photograph of a Beijing shop sign was buried on my desktop for about five years (I think that it originally came to me from Ori Tavor):

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That "moisture dripping wet feeling"

I'm pretty sure this will push some wet buttons among Language Log readers and authors.  Kira Simon-Kennedy found this stellar specimen of Chinglish in a press release from the China-sponsored section of the LA Art Show.

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Wanton soup

In "Wantan soup for überman hubby" (3/15/14), we discussed the miswriting of húntún tāng 餛飩湯 ("wonton soup") as kūnzhūn tāng 䐊肫湯 (which I playfully rendered as "wantan soup"), using the "flesh" radical instead of the "food" radical for both characters. Several of the commenters to that earlier post suggested that "wanton" would have been an appropriate mistranslation to match the miswriting.

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Chicken Asshole Restaurant

Tim Leonard sent in this photograph of a sign for a Korean restaurant:

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"Suffered We Protect They"

I came across this post on a Chinese blog, and it features new propaganda from the Liuzhou Police SWAT Team.

Here's a sample, in case the author's fears of having to take it down are realized:

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Unwearied effort however beefsteak

I spotted this colossal translation fail at the top of the Chinalawtranslate home page.

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