On translation

30 Oct

Without being in the slightest bit patronising or, worse, racist one can be amused at some of the mangled English that comes one’s way in translated text. We should always keep in mind this isn’t a one-way street either; it isn’t just a case of funny foreigners doing appalling things with English. There is a deadly serious side to the issue as well, as anything from international relations to running a business may be affected. And religion. I recall many years back an anecdote told by a missionary about a preacher working in a tonal language who told his congregation they should look forward to Heaven because when they got there their trousers would be removed. He had meant to say “burdens” but used the wrong tone. Similarly, I once ventured in Mandarin, a language I hardly speak at all, to introduce myself as a “dumpling” when I meant to say “teacher”. I believe Kevin Rudd is much less likely to make such errors.

All this to introduce a blog: Web-Translations.

The people there emailed English/ESL hoping for promotion, but it is a commercial rather than an educational site so I haven’t obliged. However, I thought I would mention it here. There are some nice stories there.

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Posted by on October 30, 2008 in diversions, education, English language, literacy, Multicultural, multiculturalism, other blogs, pluralism


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