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Chinese Ebay, again


The Geoff

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Those are most likely just literal translations which in many cases make no sense at all. As PeeMonkey says if you translated English into Mandarin literally, it would most likely make no sense either.

 

If you speak two languages try using Babel Fish to translate from one language you speak to another that you also speak and then read the translation. Sometimes the outcome can not only be amusing but downright opaque.

 

Amazingly, even though Humans the world over have the same emotions and generally the same day to day life experiences we often don't have words that mean the same thing. In Portugeuese there is no verb for "to land" as in when landing an airplane. The concept just literally does not exist in Portuguese. So they just adopted the English word for it for the most part.

 

That's one reason why French has become so "contaminated" with English words. Many Francophones simply would rather use the short English word for something than utter a French phrase that means the same thing.

 

Anyway, these Chinese posts are probably just literal translations and they are quite funny because of it. That is, if you can make any sense of it at all. :D

 

Of course Anglophones mangle English just as badly as people who don't speak English well (or at all) do. Richard Lederer published a couple of books that are quite humorous about it. They are called "Anguished English" and "More Anguished English". the funniest part of the first book is the History of the World according to 7th graders. (Things like "Sir Francis Drake circumcized the Earth with a 100 foot clipper" and "The climate of the [sic] Sarah Desert is so bad that the inhabitants have to live elsehwere").

 

IMHO it's okay to laugh at other people's lingual faux pas's as long we're not making fun of them or calling them stupid for it. I fully expect people to laugh at my language gaffs, too. I prefer that to them decking me for saying something I didn't intend to say. :D (I have gotten a few strange looks when speaking Portuguese and Russian :freak: ) My wife still gets angry at me for laughing when she makes a howler of a mistake when speaking English (she's from Brasil). But I tell her that laughter at the absurd is involuntary. Even when we don't want to laugh. And sometimes what she says when she makes a mistake is wonderfully absurd. (sorry I can't think of an example).

 

Well, sorry for the long post. I guess I've bored everyone enough for now. /me goes back to lurking.

Born on the Bayou

 

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I actually do speak Mandarin. I lived in China for 2 1/2 years. It's not like learning Spanish or French....it really helps to live there and understand the culture. I've seen some Americans makes some translations that were just as funny as this ad...in fact, I've done it too.

 

One of the funniest was a guy from Houston by the name of Neil...big tall skinny blonde dude. Great guy, but a little slow on the uptake sometimes...he's the guy that you figure would be sitting around with his buddies sniffing airplane glue and lighting farts. Anyway, he was trying hard to learn to speak Chinese, but just wasn't really getting it, you know? I always said that he spoke the rarest langiage in the world....I called it Chineil. One person spoke it and nobody understood it. He loved to practice his Chinese, though...I called it inflicting, he called it practicing. One day we were walking down the sidewalk in a town outside Beijing on our way to the train station to go into Beijing for the day and Neil picked another victim...an elderly (and unsuspecting) gentleman who was eager to try to accomodate the foreign ghosts that were approaching him. I could tell he was eager to accomodate because he didn't run away. Anyway, Neil approached him and promptly forgot which word means "you" and which word means "Me" or "I". So, Neil politely informed the man that he was an American. The man seemed a tad surprised at this, because apparently he had thought that he was Chinese all his life. He tried to deny being American, but Neil wasn't letting him off the hook that easily. Then Neil told him that he was going to Beijing. At this point the man had enough and decided that one or both of us were probably dangerous and really didn't seem interested in being forced into going to Beijing at that particular moment. I was just about rolling on the sidewalk laughing and Neil just couldn't understand why the old guy seemed so upset when he left. I explained it all to him on the train, and then he wanted to know why I didn't correct him, which wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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"Sir Francis Drake circumcized the Earth with a 100 foot clipper." :eek:

 

"...he spoke the rarest language in the world...One person spoke it and nobody understood it." :freak:

 

:D:D:D:thu::cool::D

 

As for that guitar, the one shown in the images, I don't think it's a real Gibson; it appears that the fret-ends overlay the binding, instead of being covered by "nibs"; the truss-rod cover looks a little wonky on the nut-ward end, and it ALSO says "Gibson" (as many "Epiphone by Gibson" guitars have it); and there're so many white plastic parts on it that are generally black...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

I actually do speak Mandarin. I lived in China for 2 1/2 years. It's not like learning Spanish or French....it really helps to live there and understand the culture. I've seen some Americans makes some translations that were just as funny as this ad...in fact, I've done it too.

 

One of the funniest was a guy from Houston by the name of Neil...big tall skinny blonde dude. Great guy, but a little slow on the uptake sometimes...he's the guy that you figure would be sitting around with his buddies sniffing airplane glue and lighting farts. Anyway, he was trying hard to learn to speak Chinese, but just wasn't really getting it, you know? I always said that he spoke the rarest langiage in the world....I called it Chineil. One person spoke it and nobody understood it. He loved to practice his Chinese, though...I called it inflicting, he called it practicing. One day we were walking down the sidewalk in a town outside Beijing on our way to the train station to go into Beijing for the day and Neil picked another victim...an elderly (and unsuspecting) gentleman who was eager to try to accomodate the foreign ghosts that were approaching him. I could tell he was eager to accomodate because he didn't run away. Anyway, Neil approached him and promptly forgot which word means "you" and which word means "Me" or "I". So, Neil politely informed the man that he was an American. The man seemed a tad surprised at this, because apparently he had thought that he was Chinese all his life. He tried to deny being American, but Neil wasn't letting him off the hook that easily. Then Neil told him that he was going to Beijing. At this point the man had enough and decided that one or both of us were probably dangerous and really didn't seem interested in being forced into going to Beijing at that particular moment. I was just about rolling on the sidewalk laughing and Neil just couldn't understand why the old guy seemed so upset when he left. I explained it all to him on the train, and then he wanted to know why I didn't correct him, which wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining.

Hey Sasquatch, that`s a nice surprise-you may or may not know but I studied Mandarin for three years at my college and lived in Taiwan for five.

I had originally planned to go to the mainland but got a scholarship in Taiwan. It`s bizarre but that was over twenty years ago and I still haven`t gotten closer to the mainland than Hong Kong-until this year. I am finally set to visit Shanghai and Beijing next month, really looking forward to it. I`ll even be playing some Gung Fu with a group in Shanghai. Speaking Chinese really saved me when I got to Japan-my language skills here were almost nil but I could read the characters.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

I actually do speak Mandarin. I lived in China for 2 1/2 years. It's not like learning Spanish or French....it really helps to live there and understand the culture. I've seen some Americans makes some translations that were just as funny as this ad...in fact, I've done it too.

 

One of the funniest was a guy from Houston by the name of Neil...big tall skinny blonde dude. Great guy, but a little slow on the uptake sometimes...he's the guy that you figure would be sitting around with his buddies sniffing airplane glue and lighting farts. Anyway, he was trying hard to learn to speak Chinese, but just wasn't really getting it, you know? I always said that he spoke the rarest langiage in the world....I called it Chineil. One person spoke it and nobody understood it. He loved to practice his Chinese, though...I called it inflicting, he called it practicing. One day we were walking down the sidewalk in a town outside Beijing on our way to the train station to go into Beijing for the day and Neil picked another victim...an elderly (and unsuspecting) gentleman who was eager to try to accomodate the foreign ghosts that were approaching him. I could tell he was eager to accomodate because he didn't run away. Anyway, Neil approached him and promptly forgot which word means "you" and which word means "Me" or "I". So, Neil politely informed the man that he was an American. The man seemed a tad surprised at this, because apparently he had thought that he was Chinese all his life. He tried to deny being American, but Neil wasn't letting him off the hook that easily. Then Neil told him that he was going to Beijing. At this point the man had enough and decided that one or both of us were probably dangerous and really didn't seem interested in being forced into going to Beijing at that particular moment. I was just about rolling on the sidewalk laughing and Neil just couldn't understand why the old guy seemed so upset when he left. I explained it all to him on the train, and then he wanted to know why I didn't correct him, which wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining.

Hey Sasquatch, that`s a nice surprise-you may or may not know but I studied Mandarin for three years at my college and lived in Taiwan for five.

I had originally planned to go to the mainland but got a scholarship in Taiwan. It`s bizarre but that was over twenty years ago and I still haven`t gotten closer to the mainland than Hong Kong-until this year. I am finally set to visit Shanghai and Beijing next month, really looking forward to it. I`ll even be playing some Gung Fu with a group in Shanghai. Speaking Chinese really saved me when I got to Japan-my language skills here were almost nil but I could read the characters.

Dude, you're WAAAYY ahead of me if you can read and write Chinese. I can speak and understand and I can recognize (not really read) a FEW commonly used characters. That may be about the most difficult thing an adult can try to learn...reading and writing Chinese. It's almost all rote memorization. Learning to speak the language was tough enough for me. ;)

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Originally posted by skipclone 1:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

I actually do speak Mandarin. I lived in China for 2 1/2 years. It's not like learning Spanish or French....it really helps to live there and understand the culture. I've seen some Americans makes some translations that were just as funny as this ad...in fact, I've done it too.

 

One of the funniest was a guy from Houston by the name of Neil...big tall skinny blonde dude. Great guy, but a little slow on the uptake sometimes...he's the guy that you figure would be sitting around with his buddies sniffing airplane glue and lighting farts. Anyway, he was trying hard to learn to speak Chinese, but just wasn't really getting it, you know? I always said that he spoke the rarest langiage in the world....I called it Chineil. One person spoke it and nobody understood it. He loved to practice his Chinese, though...I called it inflicting, he called it practicing. One day we were walking down the sidewalk in a town outside Beijing on our way to the train station to go into Beijing for the day and Neil picked another victim...an elderly (and unsuspecting) gentleman who was eager to try to accomodate the foreign ghosts that were approaching him. I could tell he was eager to accomodate because he didn't run away. Anyway, Neil approached him and promptly forgot which word means "you" and which word means "Me" or "I". So, Neil politely informed the man that he was an American. The man seemed a tad surprised at this, because apparently he had thought that he was Chinese all his life. He tried to deny being American, but Neil wasn't letting him off the hook that easily. Then Neil told him that he was going to Beijing. At this point the man had enough and decided that one or both of us were probably dangerous and really didn't seem interested in being forced into going to Beijing at that particular moment. I was just about rolling on the sidewalk laughing and Neil just couldn't understand why the old guy seemed so upset when he left. I explained it all to him on the train, and then he wanted to know why I didn't correct him, which wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining.

Hey Sasquatch, that`s a nice surprise-you may or may not know but I studied Mandarin for three years at my college and lived in Taiwan for five.

I had originally planned to go to the mainland but got a scholarship in Taiwan. It`s bizarre but that was over twenty years ago and I still haven`t gotten closer to the mainland than Hong Kong-until this year. I am finally set to visit Shanghai and Beijing next month, really looking forward to it. I`ll even be playing some Gung Fu with a group in Shanghai. Speaking Chinese really saved me when I got to Japan-my language skills here were almost nil but I could read the characters.

Dude, you're WAAAYY ahead of me if you can read and write Chinese. I can speak and understand and I can recognize (not really read) a FEW commonly used characters. That may be about the most difficult thing an adult can try to learn...reading and writing Chinese. It's almost all rote memorization. Learning to speak the language was tough enough for me. ;)
It`s a lot like music mon-if you really want to learn there`s no gettin around the hard work. My grades started out good but started plunging cause I was getting opportunities in music as well as film and TV-I had an agent for a while, he told me that it`s a great job but not something to base a career on unless you`re one of those top 1% types. You know how that goes, you hear what he`s saying but the roar of the crowd is like Digitalis, takes your reasoning skills and goes bye-bye.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Dude, you're WAAAYY ahead of me if you can read and write Chinese. I can speak and understand and I can recognize (not really read) a FEW commonly used characters.

I learned a number of those when I was living in HK. Numbers (prices in Chinese characters can sometimes be lower than prices in Arabic numbers), things such as "gents" and "ladies" and "danger" and so on. Made life a lot easier! :)
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I came to Norway in 1993. Learning a language takes WAY more than a dictionary :)

 

 

Good example, "don't you have any rolls at all?" (well..even here, "rolls" are not like dinner rolls, but sweet rolls...anyway...)

 

Norwegian: "Har du ikke noe rundstykker i det hele tatt?"

 

Direct translation: "Have you not any round-pieces in the whole taken?"

 

Good luck with that :)

 

Also, speaking...words that seem to us (native english speakers) to be really similar are about as similar as "elephant" and "snorkle"...but at first we think they are similar.

 

While first learning the language, I tried practicing little bits of language before going into a shop to try it out. The word for matches is "fyrstikker" (literally fire-sticks) but I had a hard time with their sound for "y" so I ended up saying "fire stykker" which is the word for "4 pieces".

 

So I walk in and say to the guy behind the counter "a pack of marlboros please" he gives me them. "Oh and a pack of matches" but what I said was really "oh, and four pieces"...

 

"yes sir, four pieces of what?"

"yes, four pieces"

"of what?"

"yes...four pieces please"

 

I was there for a while.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

 

"yes sir, four pieces of what?"

"yes, four pieces"

"of what?"

"yes...four pieces please"

 

I was there for a while.

The Chinese don't seem to use negative questions.

 

So "You wouldn't happen to sell matches would you?" gets you an answer of "yes" (as in "affirmative: we wouldn't happen to sell matches").

 

So you wait a couple of seconds and ask where the matches are and they tell you that they don't sell any. The first couple of times it's easy to think they are taking the piss. After that, you learn to speak a much clearer, more direct English. :D

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

 

"yes sir, four pieces of what?"

"yes, four pieces"

"of what?"

"yes...four pieces please"

 

I was there for a while.

The Chinese don't seem to use negative questions.

 

So "You wouldn't happen to sell matches would you?" gets you an answer of "yes" (as in "affirmative: we wouldn't happen to sell matches").

 

So you wait a couple of seconds and ask where the matches are and they tell you that they don't sell any. The first couple of times it's easy to think they are taking the piss. After that, you learn to speak a much clearer, more direct English. :D

yeah...also you find better and worse things in each language too.

 

For instance, exactly for what you talk about, norwegian has an answer that IS in the affirmative for a negative...

 

They have one word for yes, "Ja", another for a negative yes "Jo!" and one for no "nei".

 

So if you ask "don't you like tea?"

If the answer is "jo" it means, "yes, I DO like tea".

 

 

I found that kind of clever.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Ya, both Chinese and Japanese have two different words for `hot`, one meaning taste and one meaning temperature. If you say `this is too hot` in English, you have to make clear which one you mean.

 

Chinese has fewer inflections than English (things like tenses, separation of masculine and feminine, pronoun/antecedent agreement, etc.), so it is possible to ask a negative question (ni bu shi shuo ni hui mai da huo ji ma?)-didn`t you say you sell lighters?-but it`s mostly used to clarify meaning.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

I came to Norway in 1993. Learning a language takes WAY more than a dictionary :)

 

 

Good example, "don't you have any rolls at all?" (well..even here, "rolls" are not like dinner rolls, but sweet rolls...anyway...)

 

Norwegian: "Har du ikke noe rundstykker i det hele tatt?"

 

Direct translation: "Have you not any round-pieces in the whole taken?"

 

Good luck with that :)

 

Also, speaking...words that seem to us (native english speakers) to be really similar are about as similar as "elephant" and "snorkle"...but at first we think they are similar.

 

While first learning the language, I tried practicing little bits of language before going into a shop to try it out. The word for matches is "fyrstikker" (literally fire-sticks) but I had a hard time with their sound for "y" so I ended up saying "fire stykker" which is the word for "4 pieces".

 

So I walk in and say to the guy behind the counter "a pack of marlboros please" he gives me them. "Oh and a pack of matches" but what I said was really "oh, and four pieces"...

 

"yes sir, four pieces of what?"

"yes, four pieces"

"of what?"

"yes...four pieces please"

 

I was there for a while.

Yeah, that sort of thing happens easily in Chinese. What I noticed is that the Chinese have a very wide array of puzzled facial expressions....and I saw every possible one at least once. Some examples of things that will get you in trouble:

 

1. Nearly every word can mean up to four different things, depending upon the tone you use when you say it and the context. The word "Ma" can mean mother, hemp, insult, or horse and it can also be an interrogative particle. You can easily call someone's mother a horse.

 

2. When you talk about quantities of things, you have to use measure words. There are thirty-some of those and no real rhyme or reason as to why a particular one is used for a particular object. For instance, if you want to say "One glass of water" it would be "Yi bei shuei" "If you want to say "One glass", it would be "Yi ge bei" OK...simple enough so far...but, if you want to say "one book", it would be "Yi ben shu". "One chair" is "Yi ba yizi". "One cow" is "Yi tou niu"....it's extremely confusing.

 

3. Some words can have surprising results. Neil (mentioned in the post above) once tried to order some steamed dumplings...baozi...what he actually ordered was "biaozi", which is a slang term for a prostitute. Naturally, the owner of the restaurant insisted that the didn't have that, but Neal pointed to the glass display where the dumplings were and insisted that they did have it. Unfortunately, the owner's daughter happened to be standing behind the display case....you can imagine how that conversation went from there...at least until I figured it was time for me to try to fix it... :evil::P

 

Neil was once arrested by the Chinese Army for being a spy...THAT was comedy at it's finest. He INSISTED on trying to speak Chinese no matter how deep he was digging his grave. That was the day he found out the the word "Cha" can mean "tea" or "spy" depending upon the tone used..... :D

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

Ya, both Chinese and Japanese have two different words for `hot`, one meaning taste and one meaning temperature. If you say `this is too hot` in English, you have to make clear which one you mean.

 

Chinese has fewer inflections than English (things like tenses, separation of masculine and feminine, pronoun/antecedent agreement, etc.), so it is possible to ask a negative question (ni bu shi shuo ni hui mai da huo ji ma?)-didn`t you say you sell lighters?-but it`s mostly used to clarify meaning.

Yeah, those translations are tough. The problem is that the language is ancient and some of the things they are trying to describe are new..and there are really no words. The name for a cigarette lighter, as you said, is "da huo ji"...literally translated to English it's "make fire machine".

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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