22 September, 2008

Happy Blogoversary, Signs!

Last year, on September 22nd, this blog came to life. Here we are, a year later, and it turns out that we haven't yet run out of silly
quirks to chuckle at. Who would have thought?

Before I write today's post, I'd just like to tell you which were my favorite posts from the last year. Some of the best ones, I think, are from the very beginning, which means those of you who only started reading this recently likely haven't see them. Enjoy!

Here are my favorite ten posts from this past year.

Okay, onward.

On a yearly basis, the Elite brand crispy snacks (chips and such) give out different prizes in their bags. A few years ago, we got metal pogs, then we moved on to plastic pogs, and then finally, last year, we upgraded to tattoos. I think most parents didn't like the tattoos (my dear husband included), but I actually appreciated them - finally, a prize that didn't build up in piles all over my house!

Anyway, back in the days of the metal pogs, I found one that I liked. You see, most of them were terrifying: overall, they were like these:

But then, one day, someone brought this one home, and brought a smile to my face:
He's so sweet! I've carried him around in my organizer for the last three years - he's my beacon of innocence and hope, in a world of summoned skulls.

This year, we aren't getting tattoos. They've gone back to pogs, but cool rubbery ones that can be stacked and stuck together. Here's an example of one:

These don't seem quite as terrifying as the ones from days past - the pictures on the other side are much milder - but they do seem to be trying to be serious, as seen in this "blaze kick" version.

But then we got this one, and I'm starting to get confused as to the motivation behind it all:


I'd just like to take the opportunity to let you all know - if anyone wants to attack me, this is probably your best bet.

18 September, 2008


Today's photo was found by my ever-alert brother in law, Menashe. He found this label on a case of cigarettes in Jerusalem, but presumably it's the same all over:

Menashe thinks that perhaps it was translated from Yiddish:)

I have to assume that it's just a literal translation from Hebrew, but as we see once again, literal translations don't tend to be the most accurate ones...

Well, at least they put a scary label on - that's progress on a different front.

10 September, 2008

So very silly

I'm sure you've all seen your share of goofy signs from Beijing. There are emails full of them whizzing through cyberspace (do people still say cyberspace?) - regular everyday signs in China, that were recently (mis)translated into English, for the sake of all the tourists arriving for the Olympics. They're all funny, and a lot of them remind me of the things we see here. But this one, found by my childhood friend Charlotte, is just astonishingly funny. It's here on Language Log, which looks like a site up my dear husband's alley:

Wow, right?

08 September, 2008

Sometimes they're just too easy...

So I needed to buy some iron supplements. No big deal. There were a few options, and I happened to grab one that I hadn't seen before.

For those who can't read Hebrew, it says, "Barzel Adif." Barzel is easy, that's iron. Adif is a word I personally would translate as "preferred," but I'm no language expert. Maybe Barzel Adif is actually a technical term for a particular kind of iron. Any doctors or nutrition experts out there know?

Anyway, it seems that the manufacturer was equally unsure. Here's the other side of the package:

01 September, 2008

Tunnel Vision

Here comes one from my youngest (as of yet) correspondent - our own Efrat resident, Micha Bailey!

Micha has the advantage of being both a native Hebrew and English speaker, and so can manage to read both languages on the signs that go whizzing by on the highway. Although I've lived here as a citizen for 12 years, I'm embarrassed to say that while driving, I always see the English jump out at me before the Hebrew. Maybe one day that will change... Anyway, there's a sign
that we pass every time we drive on the "Tunnel Road" from Jerusalem. The larger of the two tunnels on the road is actually the longest tunnel in Israel, and as you drive through, there are two bays dug out, where one can pull over in case of an emergency. This isn't encouraged for recreational use, as seen on the sign. (I apologize for the quality of the picture. Believe me, snapping photos on the highway is no piece of cake):

So the bays are for emergency stops only. Fair enough. But wait, says Micha, check out the Hebrew. The translation of atsirat cherum bemifratsim bilvad is not "bays are for emergency stops only," but rather, "emergency stops may be made in the bays only."


Now generally, since we do live in Israel, I would tend to assume that if one of the languages on a sign has an error, it'll be the English. But here, I'm not so sure. One certainly can decide whether one's emergency warrants stopping in the bay. But can one possibly ensure that one's emergency will only occur while in the bay? I think not. If your particular emergency happens, say, 100 meters after the bay, you're in violation of the sign - seems pretty strict. So my vote: the English has it right this time.

Please note the cute little sign (Water on Road) next to our big one. This one I've noticed for years - it always makes me think of LA Story. Is it true? Does the sign really know? And of course, the answer almost always remains: not at all.