Over at Spicks & Specks, Greg Pringle has a virtuoso post on "The Bell Miner: How orthography and ornithology catalysed a new folk etymology" (8/9/15). It's about an Australian honeyeating bird — Manorina melanophrys — that used to be called the Bellbird, but was renamed Bell Miner through association with the South Asian bird called in Hindi the mainā मैना (" starling").
Archive for Lost in translation
From Randy Alexander in Xiamen / Amoy, Fujian / Hok-kiàn, China:
Saw this on my trail run today and got a laugh. It's easy to see how this came about — verbs get translated with "to" mindlessly stuck in front of them.
JH Rand sent in this intriguing photograph taken in the Philippines:
The following photograph has been in my draft folder for about five years:
This is "Konglish", not "Kongish". We just finished studying the latter, which is Hong Kong style English, in this post, and surveyed other varieties of Asian English in this post, including Konglish,which is the subject of the present post.
Jim Millward sent in this photograph of a sign at "one of those Korean-run lunch buffet deli places (this in Bethesda MD)":
Jackie and Mimi, Toni Tan's daughters, spotted two interesting products at the Asian supermarket near their home.
Alissa Rubin, "Coping? Students in France just aren't", NYT 6/23/2015:
There is no easy translation or even a firm concept of the word “coping” in French, so when it turned up last week in a question on the national exam to earn a high school degree, it set off a fracas among the 350,000 or so students who took the test.
So far, about 12,000 of them have signed a petition posted four days ago on a social media site, change.org, arguing that the question was “too difficult.”
The word appeared in the English reading comprehension section of this year’s baccalaureate general exam, which requires an intermediate level of proficiency in two foreign languages.
Back in 2009, somebody (unfortunately I forget who it was) sent me this photograph of a sign in Beijing:
Menu from a restaurant on Wudaoying Hutong 五道营胡同 near Yonghe Gong 雍和宫 (Lama Temple) that left James Bradbury completely baffled last summer:
Here is an interesting picture that Francois Dube took today in a cakeshop in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui (Muslim) Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China:
Tom Hancock sent in this photograph of a poster seen yesterday outside a Shaanxi restaurant just inside Beijing's third ring road: