our lovely language

As hilarious as this translation is (photo snatched from an article in the Wall Street Journal), I don't really blame Chinese speakers for not being able to figure out the complexities of the English language. My linguistic anthropology class is teaching me just how complicated it really is.
However, the Chinese are cracking down on such English translations for the 2008 Summer Olympics. This BBC article tells about the undertaking, and adds additional mistranslations spotted by visitors to China. Among them:
- "Please do not climb rocketry," in order to keep tourists from climbing rocks.
- "The oil explodes the shrimp." Mmm...chef's surprise?
- "This tastiness cannot be carried, even with both hands." (on a chocolate snack cake package) I want to try those...
- "Show Mercy to the Slender Grass" (from the Wall Street Journal article)


Reese said...

Those are great! I love catching funny translations here in Germany and when we travel. I haven't seen anything too wild. There have been a ton of Americans here for nearly 50 years, after all.

One of my favorite Chinese restaurants here has the menu in both German and English. There's a combo meal with a long list of all that comes with it; one of the items, in English, is "peace." As the mother of four wild hoodlums, I've always had in mind to order that meal. I could use a little peace!

avila said...

that was funny...i have a chinese friend who did a direct translation from chinese to english for an english essay paper..and it was funny

Sonnjea B said...

I'm stumped by "the result compacent".

Molly Malone said...

i think i much prefer the bizarre translations to whatever the "correct" translation would be. i definitely love the chocolate that cannot be handled even with both hands. it sounds as if the treat is the holiest of holies, so sacred that to touch it defiles it. THAT's the chocolate i want!

clowngirl said...

Hmmm...maybe they're 'exploding' rocks (er, rocketry) :)