German salty pig hand

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Jeff DeMarco writes:

"Saw this on Facebook. Google Translate gives 'German salty pig hand' which I presume refers to trotters. Not sure how they got sexual misconduct!"

Dé shì xián zhū shǒu

lit. character by character reading:

Dé 德 is from Déguó 德国 ("Germany")
shì 式 ("style; type")
xián 咸 ("salty")
zhū 猪 ("pig; swine")
shǒu 手 ("hand")


"German salty pork trotters"

In "Grilled sexual harassment" (5/5/13), follow-up in "Salty pig's hand" (5/3/17), I've rather exhaustively explained a completely different meaning of the key term, xián zhūshǒu 咸猪手 ("groper"), which is actually a borrowing from Cantonese haam4 zyu1 sau2 咸猪手 (lit., "salty pig's hand"; "sexual pervert [esp. one who gropes women in public]").  I also discussed the connections among piggish behavior, gluttony, and lechery in Chinese and other languages.

Not wanting to repeat all of the detailed evidence I adduced in the first post cited in the previous paragraph, let me just say here that the confusion which repeatedly results in the mistranslation we see in the photograph above is due to several factors, including mixing up Cantonese and Mandarin morphemes, switching simplified and traditional characters, muddling figurative and literal interpretations, and ignoring the differing contexts of the term when it occurs on restaurant menus and as a description for antisocial behavior.

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