March 4, 2005

Here speeching American

I am feeling very levitatious today (you know, as in full of levity? I think I made that one up) so I shall break my usual custom of deep, intellectual posts and post something a bit silly. Here goes. . . . .

These are translation mess-ups from Richard Ledderer's book Anguished English--

--When Pepsi came to the Chinese market, the product's slogan, "Come alive with the Pepsi generation," was renedered into Chinese as "Pepsi brings back your dead ancestors!"

--In a Tokyo hotel: Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not person to do such thing is please to not read notis.

--In a Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub.

--In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If ths cabin should enter more persons, each one should press number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

--In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

--In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a cemetary: You are welcome to visit the cemetary where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

--In a Hong Kong supermarket: For your convenience we recommend courteous, efficient self-service.

--In a Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the porter.

--A sign on a German campground: It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

--In a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

--Detour sign in Japan: Stop: Drive Sideways.

--In a Copenhagen airport: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

--In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.

--In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

And now my favorite--

--From the brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo: When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage tootle him with vigor.


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

When we lived in Japan, it seemed that Japanese phrases or slogans translated into English were 'trendy.' But they didn't always translate well.
The Coke slogan then was "I feel Coke."

Recently, I discovered a little shop which caters to Asian customers, and I was delighted to find some of the little things we miss from our time in Japan. Amongst my small treasures is a journal with a photograph of a cup of coffee on the front, and this slogan on every page, "Coffee always makes you feel happy when you bite it once."

fa-so-la-la said...

Last year I met an exchange student from Japan, and she was wearing a shirt that said "Peace East New Media." I puzzled over it for a while, and finally asked her what it meant. She said, "I don't know. In japan, we just put English words on shirts and it is cool." Lol.