Category Archives: Mistranslations

Lost in Translation: Pee Cola

Very popular in Ghana, “pee” means (locally, at any rate) “very good”. I doubt they have many tourists trying the local drink.

LIT - extremely popular soda, which is bottled in Ghana, means -very good Cola

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Filed under Humor, Images, Mistranslations, Obscurities, Translations

Odd Jobs #8: Hippotherapists to Spatial Designers

The next line-up of odd jobs begins with one that can lead to all kinds of interpretations; no, it’s not therapy for hippos, nor is it accusing hippos of being convicted criminals (break it down…)!  It is in fact a specialised form of therapy for humans involving horses.

There are a few on this list that sound on the surface like cushy jobs; but as with all careers, they have their downsides too, I’m sure:  It’s just creepy to hire someone else to lie down in your hotel bed to warm it up for you, but someone’s got to earn money; and how’d you like to live in a spotless mansion as a living mannequin… never to feel at home, and forced to leave at the drop of a hat?  Being an ice cream taster doesn’t sound bad on a hot day, but 60 kinds a day, every day, without swallowing?  No, thanks!  I’d rather enjoy mine one flavour at a time, or three.

Odd Job - Iceberg Mover

Iceberg Mover.  Original photo source, unknown (if known, please let me know!)

  • Hippotherapist
  • Horse Rider / Exerciser
  • Horticultural Therapist
  • Hot Dog Vendor
  • Human Bed-Warmer (UK): Some hotels offer a service to clients, in which a willing staffer dresses in an all-in-one fleece jumpsuit, and lays in the bed to warm it before the guest arrives.
  • Human Bullet Impact Tester
  • Human Prop: Hired to live in for-sale luxury homes at dirt cheap prices; but of course, there’s a catch – the house must always be in squeaky clean, in case it gets purchased, and they have to be ready to move out immediately. According to real estate companies, houses sell better when they’re being lived in; the props lend an unmistakable energy to an otherwise empty home.
  • Human Scarecrow (UK) – A variation is that of a human scarecrow for airports – Officially, you’d be called a “specialist for biological aviation safety.”
  • Iceberg Mover: Became a profession after the disastrous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The International Ice Patrol (IIP), which was founded a year later, is operated by the US Coast Guard and tracks the location of icebergs and provides safe routes around them. If necessary, the iceberg will be towed out of the area.
  • Ice Cream Taster (Food Scientist)
  • IMAX Screen Cleaner
  • Interior / Spatial Designer

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Filed under Lists, Mistranslations, Research

Lost in Translation: Camel Balls Gum

Today’s product is sold in the UK, among other places (e.g. Amazon).  In and of itself, it may not be lost in translation so much as a marketing gimmick, but I came across an article of the UK’s Mirror titled, “Bubblegum called Camel Balls sold to girl, 7, gives mum the hump”.  Their choice of that last word in this particular context is unfortunate, given its connotations in some English dialects…

 

LIT - Camel Balls Gum

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Filed under Humor, Images, Mistranslations

Just for Fun #3: Vegetarian

Vegetarian, Bad Hunter

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May 11, 2016 · 9:44 PM

Anonymously Bad Grammar 2

Found perchance online, I thought I’d share this with you.  For those of you who, like me, cringe at bad grammar and spelling, you’ve just been duly forewarned.

In (one hopes purely sarcastic) response to the following information:  “Terms for being admitted to Harvard in the 17th century (around the age of 15 or 16): ‘Whoever shall be able to read Cicero, or any other such-like classical author at sight, and correctly, and without assistance to speak and write Latin both in prose and verse, and to inflect exactly the paradigms of Greek nouns and verbs, has a right to expect to be admitted into the college, and no one may claim admission without these qualifications.'”

“Hay, i took a fence @ that! i thinking hour educations more better then ever!”

 

 

Psychotherapist

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Filed under Cartoon, Humor, Mistranslations

Lost in Translation: Pepsi

In 1963, Pepsi launched the “Come Alive!  You’re in the Pepsi Generation!” campaign.  All well and good until they took it to China, where the slogan translated as “Pepsi – Bring Your Ancestors Back from the Dead”.

Needless to say, it was a short-lived campaign, despite its claim to resurrect Grandpa.

LIT - Pepsi, Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation, 1963

 

LIT - Pepsi, Chinese of Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation, 1963

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Filed under Humor, Images, Mistranslations, Signs

Lost in Translation: Bird Crap

I don’t know if this would really qualify as being “lost in translation” as it is the original English name of the product, and it is intentional; it may just fall under the category of marketing flops or faux pas.  But either way, the last thing I want going through my mind as I take a bite of a nicely grilled burger is this brand name…

LIT - Bird Crap Seasoning

Here’s a close-up of the label:

LIT - Bird Crap Seasoning Label

Ya never know – it might sell quite well, just as a marketing gag (no pun intended – well, maybe it was)…

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Filed under Humor, Images, Mistranslations

Lost in Translation: Fart

Keeping on with the disgusting theme of my last post, I thought I’d share a whiff of Polish with you:  In Poland, where this candy bar is marketed, the name translates to something like Lucky Streak and the word orzechowy means nutty.  It does not help to think of it as a nutty lucky streak with the name association in English, especially with an elephant as the logo…

In Polish, where this candy bar is made, the name translates to -lucky bar

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Filed under Humor, Mistranslations, Signs, Translations

Lost in Translation: Barf

In Iran, where this laundry detergent is produced, the name means “snow”.  For obvious reasons I don’t think they should try to break into the English market…

In Iran, where this detergent is manufactured, that word means -snow

For other ads lost in translation, click here.

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Filed under Humor, Images, Mistranslations, Signs

Ye Olde Spelling Laziness

runesymbols

Have you ever wondered about the old-fashioned “ye” in shop signs?  It was a lazy printer’s solution to saving space for “th”, and should be pronounced as “the”, not “yee”!  The Old English character “y” was a graphic alteration of the Germanic rune “Þ” (which came over with the Viking raiders and the Norman King Canute and his rabble, but that’s another story).  When English printing typefaces couldn’t supply the right kind of “P” they substituted the “Y” (close enough, right?).  That practice continued into the 18th century, when it dropped out of use.  By the 19th century it was revived as a deliberate antiquarianism – to give a shop a pedigree, so to speak (read “marketing scam”), and soon came to be mocked because of it.  And now we think of it as the quaint way they used to write…

For a short, fun video on the topic, click on Ye Olde Web link, below.

ye-olde-web-link

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Filed under History, Humor, Mistranslations, Nuts & Bolts, Translations