Archive for January, 2006

Difference between words

January 29, 2006

Once an educated lady executive in office was just relaxing reading professional matters to upgrade herself.

Two peons in her office were sitting nearby and having some lighter moments, too. One peon thought to talk to the lady in informal way, and asked,”મૅડમ, એક જૉક્સ કહું ?” The lady thought to ‘educate’ the boy, and said,”એક હોય, તો ‘જૉક્સ’ ના કહેવાય, ‘જોક’ કહેવાય.”

So, the boy said,”ok, એક જૉક કહું ?” So, ‘Madam’ corrected him again,”‘જૉક’ ના કહેવાય, ‘જોક’ કહેવાય.”

And there the lady got the reply for the life time, when that boy told the other peon sitting next to him,”લે, મૅડમને તો એટલી પણ ખબર નથી કે, અંગ્રેજીમાં ‘જોક’ કહેવાય, અને ગુજરાતીમાં ‘જૉક’ કહેવાય !!!!”



January 22, 2006

A businessman spent three days negotiating a tough deal with a Japanese businessman.  The third day, things were going well, and he said, “well, I think that at last we’re thinking along parallel lines.”

The next day the Japanese businessman didn’t show up.  He checked the hotel and discovered that the businessman had checked out!  So he rushed to the airport and found the Japanese businessman in the departure waiting room.  He said, “Why are you leaving?  It took three days, but we’re finally thinking along parallel lines!”

And the Japanese businessman nodded, and said, “Yes, yes.  I scrutinize my dictionary.  Parallel lines will never meet.  So I go home.”

Preacher & Translator!

January 22, 2006

A preacher spent about five minutes telling a joke, and when he is finished, his translator said about four words, and everyone burst out laughing.

Later the man asked his translator what he had said, and the translator explained, “I knew they wouldn’t get your joke, so I just told them you had told a joke and they should laugh.”

Pope in translation!

January 22, 2006

An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit.

Instead of the desired “I Saw the Pope” in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed “I Saw the Potato”!! 

GM in South America!

January 22, 2006

When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that “no va” means “it won’t go.”

After the company figured out why it wasn’t selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.  


Coke in China!

January 22, 2006

The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. 

Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. 

Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, “ko-kou-ko-le,” which can be loosely translated as “happiness in the mouth.” 

look at this!!

January 22, 2006

The American slogan for Salem cigarettes: 

“Salem – Feeling Free”  got translated in Japanese as: 

“When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.” 

real life!!

January 22, 2006

In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan 

“Finger-lickin’ good”  came out as 

“Eat your fingers off.” 

its real!

January 22, 2006

In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan 

“Come alive with the Pepsi Generation”  came out as  “Pepsi will bring your  ancestors back from the dead.” 

The need for Translations

January 22, 2006

This is a beginning to emphasise the need to read and communicate in one’s own language. I believe that in today’s world, one needs to be multi-lingual. Multi language skill is not restricted to linguists or academicians. In the era of Global village, one needs to learn more than one language.

Lets keep the issue of learning foreign languages aside, and focus on our own Indian languages, to start with. In India, a country of infinite diversity, one has so many languages to learn and enjoy its flavour in order to grasp the cultural variety!

This need gives birth to translate one language into another. But since, quite a lot of emphasis is put in learning English for various reasons, let us examine its stand.

Please remember that English is hardly widespread in India, not nearly as much as people assume.

Only 3 to 5% of Indians speak English.

And please do not associate English fluency with being educated in India. There are many poor, uneducated English speakers and on the other hand many rich, well-educated Indians who speak little to no English.

Most schools in India teach in one of the other national languages– Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu among others– that is indigenous to India, with English sometimes as a second or third language.

So it makes perfect sense that a classic like Harry Potter is translated into Hindi and other Indian languages. Many children in India are educated in schools where English is not the medium of instruction. In such schools, English is only taught as a second language. For such kids, reading the Harry Potter books in English might not be as easy.

One doesn’t understand why “educated” children who learn English in school still can’t/shouldn’t be given the option to read the book in their own language as well. Norwegian children learn English in school from an early age too, but they still have the book translated into their own language.

Kids interested enough will still read it in English too, and having already read it first in their own language will make it much easier. Lets not forget that even adults would enjoy reading a classic in their own language.