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#134817 - 11/30/02 09:21 AM Funny translations
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Looking through the French forums the last few days has reminded me that in France a 2/3-way switch is known as un interrupteur de va-et-vient -- literally translated "a switch of go-and-come" !!!

Are there any such terms in your language which are similarly amusing when translated literally into English?

Conversely, are there any English terms which sound odd if translated literally into your own native language?

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#134818 - 12/01/02 10:57 AM Re: Funny translations
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
3-way switches are known as "trapp" (= stair) switches in Swedish. That should be pretty obvious in most languages. But I've seen one importer selling German switches who calls them "stair throwers". I wonder how the switch does this: Tears out the stairs and put them back upside down???

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 12-01-2002).]

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#134819 - 12/01/02 11:21 AM Re: Funny translations
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Almost all computer-related vocabulary sounds ridiculous when translated literally to German. For example, we have 2 different words for door key (Schluessel) and key (Taste) on a computer keyboard. Keyboard is called "Tastatur", but if you translate keyboard literally, you think of a board with some hooks in it to hang keys.
Similar with "motherboard", "hard disc" (although this may sound strange in english as well),...

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#134820 - 12/17/02 08:51 PM Re: Funny translations
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
Recently, I was working up in a roof of a mall, with our new Dutch Electrician, and we came across this Xformer marked in large Red letters,"Hael-strom".
Willem said we had better stay away from that one, as it translates from Swedish, to mean "Hell-Current", turns out it was driving a large Neon sign below the ceiling, in one of the shops, at 25,000V.
Have never forgotten the meaning of this word since.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#134821 - 12/18/02 12:56 AM Re: Funny translations
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
 Quote:

we came across this Xformer marked in large Red letters,"Hael-strom".
Willem said we had better stay away from that one, as it translates from Swedish, to mean "Hell-Current",


You mean Dutch?

(Hell-Current in Swedish would be Helvetesström, but such a word would sound very strange.)

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#134822 - 12/18/02 12:49 PM Re: Funny translations
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
On a card to hang on the outside of your hotel door in Kiunga, Papua New Guinea is written in an official language Pigin (as in English)...

"No mekim noiz bout room belong me"

On the reverse was the English translation ...

"Please do not disturb"

The broken photocopy machine at the mine site had a card on it that read...

"BAGARUP"

[This message has been edited by Hutch (edited 12-18-2002).]

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#134823 - 12/20/02 12:12 PM Re: Funny translations
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
"No mekim noiz bout room belong me"


This reminds me of some of a whole list of attempts at English signs that somebody collected from various parts of the world.

One in a ski-lodge (I forget in which country) read: "Not to perambulate the corridors during the hours of repose in the boots of ascension."

Still, I guess that one is better than the Japanese hotel sign which read "You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid" !!

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