Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OT: Lost (and found) in translation

IKN NerveCentre™ has kind of a busy day in store and posting is likely to be light after this one, but before we get on with life here's a fun post. Reader HA send in this photo, found at this post.

The post is good reading, as it explains where the "rice-flour noodle" translation derives from (go see for yourself) and ended with a line that rang very true for your humble scribe.
My friend in China theorizes: "I guess all the public sign translations in this country are done by lazy bureaucrats, with the help of Google Translate." It will be sad when these finally go away.

Indeed. The quality of Spanish/English public translation has improved these last few years and your author's encounters with funny Spanglish aren't so common these days, but even though less common they do still happen and every one is cherished. The best always have to have a pretzeled logic between what the person wanted to say and what they actually said (so the park sign once spotted that asked me not to wank on the grass was funny, but not an A1 example). The one I wish I'd taken a photo of at the time was in a restaurant menu in a small town in Peru which offered "Familiar Chicken", still my all-time favourite (knowledge of how Spanish works is key). So three cheers and a hearty Viva! for Spanglish and a thought set aside for what happened to the population of Babel all those years ago.