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Post Info TOPIC: Language Funnies


Tennis legend

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Language Funnies


OK.  So this post is triggered by a new advert on our Expat Radio Station that we have here called Spectrum FM.  Decent music (some of the time) but clearly nobody speaks a word of Spanish, so when they try to pronounce Spanish words or names, it can be quite hilarious.

There is a advert now being regularly repeated for the opening of a new restaurant, which they call the "Oh so Blanco".  I'm thinking to myself, what a strange name for a restaurant.  Blanco as many of you know means White.  It is only at the end of the advert, when they read the name out in English, that I get it.  "Oh so Blanco" = "The White Bear".

Spanish speakers will now see the funny side.  For the rest of you, the Spanish word for Bear is "Oso".  Being a phonetic language, the letter "o" in Spanish is always pronounced as it would be in the English word "off".   I know this is probably only funny to those who hear and understand it, but I find it oso funny, everytime the advert comes on.



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Tennis legend

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The above story, triggered the memory of quite the most hilarious thing I have ever seen.

I had been living in Spain for a couple of years so my Spanish was pretty good by this time. I was working in an estate agency selling properties to expats, and most of the sales staff didn't have a word of Spanish between them.

There was an exception however. One of my colleagues had been in Spain for about 7 years and her son, 13 years old at the time, used to come into the office after school (which finishes at 2pm here) to do his homework while waiting for his mother to finish work. The mother spoke good Spanish, but the young lad, who had done all his schooling in Spanish was completely bilingual - well almost, as it turned out.

This kid was a highly intelligent, hard working, straight A student. He was sitting at a desk in the office one day, quietly doing his homework when one of the non-spanish speaking sales staff decided to wind him up a bit. Nothing serious, just a case of flipping the page over on the book he was reading, or knocking his pencil on the floor etc. It was clearly working as the young lad was becoming more and more agitated. So this guy then went and stood right behind the young lad and flicked his ear. That was too much. In a really loud voice, so that everyone - clients included - heard what he said, he turned to the guy and shouted:

WILL YOU STOP MOLESTING ME !!!!!!

Everybody stopped and looked. Now for the non Spanish speakers here, the verb "Molestar" in Spanish means "To annoy or disturb". It doesn't have the same meaning as in the UK. Of course the English guy who had flicked the kid's ear, didn't know that. He went white as a sheet and stood there with his hands up as though someone was pointing a gun at him. Fortunately for him, those of us that understood that confusion quickly stepped in and explained to all concerned the difference in the meanings.

Needless to say the poor sales guy got some good natured stick over the next few days.


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Tennis legend

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That's exactly the sort of mistake my kids make - direct translations of words from French to English that are nearly the same but not quite....

'He menaced me' - meaning 'he threatened me' is one common example.

I can't think of the funny examples but I know there have been a good few.....

Love your one

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Top national player

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Yes, great story Bob :)
I seem to remember, CD, you regaling us earlier this year of shouting a rude mistranslation to a crowded school yard repeatedly until you realised your clanger....go on, tell it again! :)

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Satellite level

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In german there's a confusion in the translation of the verb bekommen, it looks like it should translate become, but it actually means to obtain.

So in a shop my grandmother (first language German) used to say (in our non-self-service greengrocers, for those who can remember such places!), "I want to become a cauliflower" causing hilarity to us and other shoppers.



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Intermediate Club Player

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Living in the States I worked with a German national whose English was almost perfect.

He had an issue when he took his car to the garage to get the tyres rotated (to ensure even wear) - the mechanics couldn't understand why he had come in to ask them to turn his wheels round.

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Tennis legend

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This has had me in hysterics over the weekend. It is from the BBC website.

A road sign company had to do a sign for a Welsh road and sent some text off for translation. They got an automated "out of office" response in Welsh and thought it was the translation.

Road Sign.jpg

The English is clearly correct, but the translation apparently reads, "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."

 



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Jan


Grand Slam Champion

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Hilarious - I had a good laugh at that!!!!!

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Tennis legend

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Jan wrote:

Hilarious - I had a good laugh at that!!!!!


 Yes - that made me actually laugh out loud !



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