Fun_People Archive
25 Feb
Lost in Translation Space

Date: Sat, 25 Feb 95 13:32:48 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Lost in Translation Space

Forwarded-by: lanih@irony.Berkeley.EDU (Lani Herrmann)

	Mysteries of Language

In America, if you want to split the cost of an evening out, you say
you are "going Dutch," since the Dutch are well known for their
frugality.  The Dutch, on the other hand, call the same arrangement
"op z'n Amerikaans" (going American) because the Americans are known
for their egalitarian nature!

In English, the bird "turkey" was named as though it came from
Turkey.  In Turkish, the bird is named "hindi" as though it came from
"Hindistan", which is Turkish for India.  (Any Hindi speakers wish to
comment on the Hindi name of a turkey?)

French fries aren't really French.  In fact, they were invented by
the English, who call them chips. The French
call them "pommes frites" or "fried apples [of the earth]".

In Wien (the German name for Vienna), they like to eat Frankforters.
In Frankfort, they eat the same thing, but call them Wieners.

"It's Greek to me."  But what does a Greek say to confess total
noncomprehension?  A Greek says, "Stop talking Chinese!"  Bravo- but
what does a Chinese say?  What a Chinese says is staggering:  "Your
words are like Buddha's attendant, 12 feet tall, whose head I cannot
reach!"  When Poles, on the other hand, are unable to understand
something, they blurt, "I am hearing a sermon in Turkish!"
Frenchmen, who are especially irritated by incomprehensibility,
murmur, "Pray stop talking Hebrew!"  And Jews dismiss ensnarled (or
foolish) statements with a crisp "Stop knocking a teapot!"
 - Leo Rosten, "Hoorah for Yiddish!", Simon & Schuster


	     From storefront, or otherwise, signs:

On a Califormia freeway:
  Fine for Littering

In the window of an Atlanta clothing store:
  Sid's Pants is Open

On the wall of a British Columbia cleaning service:
  Able to Do the Worst Possible Job

In a New York jewelry store:
  Genuine Fauz Pearls

In a Kansas City oculist's office:
  Broken lenses duplicated here

In a Boston fast-food parking lot:
  Parking for Drive-Through Customers Only

Billboard on Florida highway:
  If You Can't Read, We Can Help

On the Triborough Bridge in New York:
  In Event of Air Attack Drive Off Bridge

On a Lockhart, Texas, gas station and minimart:
  We're out of Rolaids, but we've got gas.

At the basketball court in a Gastonton, North Carolina, YMCA:
  Anyone caught hanging from the rim will be suspended

On a Rapid City store:
  Give That Bride a Good Case of Worms of Other Fine Bait

On the door of an Ellsworth, Maine, restaurant:
  The Indian Trading Post will be closed for Yom Kippur

In a Grand Rapids restaurant:
  Half baked chicken

In a Dayton barbershop:
  During vacation of owner, a competent hair stylist will be here

On a Jacksonwille, Florida, bookstore:
  Rare, out-of-print, and nonexistent books

On a construction office in England:
  We Specialize in Quick Erections

On a library in Marlboro, New Hampshire, honoring Robert Frost:
  Frost Free Library


	From Headline Howlers

Man Struck by Lightning faces Battery Charge

Astronaut takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids make Nutritious Snacks

Chef Throws his Heart into Helping Feed Needy

Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire

British Union finds Dwarfs in Short Supply

Ban on Soliciting Dead in Trotwood

Lansing Residents can Drop off Trees

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

New Vaccine may Contain Rabies

Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing

Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing

Steals Clock, Faces Time

Prosecutor Releases Probe into Undersheriff

Old School Pillars are Replaced by Alumni

Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction

Include your Children when Baking Cookies

Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []