30 December, 2009

Going rouge

This is one of the absolute best translation mistakes that I've seen in a long time. This isn't an accidental typo that was overlooked, but an actual mistake, a product of research and effort. Thanks so much, Gidon, for finding it! Here we go:

So, for those of you who can't read Hebrew, this is a jar of Sumac. You, know, it's a spice, it's sitting right there, on the spice rack. Sumac in Hebrew is called, you guessed it, Sumac. But apparently the guys who translated this jar from Hebrew weren't convinced that Sumac was also its name in English, so they went to look it up. Way to go, guys!

The trouble is that SMC is also the Hebrew root for blushing. So when you look it up (for example, here) you end up finding this:

They were so very very close. So close! And yet, not nearly close enough. Well, I suppose we should be relived that they opted for the first word on the top line of our definition, and not the second :)

Thanks, Gidon!

25 December, 2009

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on this box

Well, Ariel has come through for us once again. You all remember my friend Ariel, right? She brought us this doozy a little while back, and has tipped me off to other fun things in the past. Anyway, she's been using the camera on her phone for the benefit of us all; check out her cool photo essay, and we'll regroup at the bottom (there's one shot each of the front and back, plus various close-ups). As always, you can double click on the photos, if you'd like to enlarge them:

Ariel said: " I am so glad that these are medical toys.  I certainly would not want people who spell like this to be making real medical equipment. At first I wondered if it wasn’t supposed to actually be English.  Maybe it was another language that also used “doctor”?"

I obviously agree. What's your favorite part of this masterpiece?

18 December, 2009

Only in Israel - The Chanuka Edition

I tell you, I was looking all week long for a Chanuka related typo. All week! I found lots of breathtaking sunsets, lots of beautiful Menoras, and of course, plenty of Chanuka related paraphernalia. But nothing funny - bizarre, right?

Then last night I was shopping with my youngest daughter. We were waiting in line at our local, classy toy store, when I saw this. No, it doesn't have any English on it, so I couldn't find any funny English typos, but I thought that it was funny nonetheless. Is this possibly sold anywhere but in Israel?

Do you get it? It's a Chanuka gelt machine. Weird, right? I imagine that using it would make me feel all guilty, like a counterfeiter... 

It's possible that I just had gelt on the brain, since my husband has been talking about it all week - starting with this article, before he wrote this one. But either way, I thought this was worth sharing. 

Enjoy the rest of your Chanuka, everyone!

10 December, 2009

Three cheers for Google!


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love Google! I use plain, everyday Google, I use Gmail, I use Google Docs, and lots more. My verdict: they're all super-fantastic. Really! 

But one of the best Google apps, in terms of entertainment value, is Google Translate. It comes up with some of the goofiest translations, ever. It's sometimes quite helpful, and sometimes just awful, and you never really know which one you'll get, until you find yourself rolling on the floor, laughing. Please note that I didn't abbreviate that :)

Anyway, Google Translate has the habit (in Hebrew, at least) of transliterating words that it doesn't recognize. (That's actually one of the easiest ways to tell that something you're reading was translated using it.) In this ad that I found on our local chat-list, it attempts to transliterate the word HaTzaharon. (Tzaharon is the word used for afternoon day care, and this ad is for "HaTzahaon, as in, The Afternoon Day Care.) Okay, fine, we can grant them that one. But it gets better, check it out:

We agree, the English doesn't sound very natural. But do you see the part that really got me chuckling? Yes, there, toward the end... when does it open? From the end of WHAT?

Okay, Hebrew speakers out there: first to guess what that word was supposed to be gets a chocolate chip cookie. On your mark...

03 December, 2009

A great example


Here's a classic blooper that my friend Dena found. This may not seem like an exciting typo at first - it doesn't give its sign a silly new meaning, or do anything particularly dramatic. But then you realize that it's an actual, permanent (not to mention gigantic) sign, in an actual, real mall. In Jerusalem, for crying out loud! This isn't some hand-written poster that a high school minimum wage kid stuck in a store window. Someone paid a lot of money to someone to have it designed, and then to a professional sign guy to put it together. And no one thought to ask an English speaker to proofread? It's only six words - how expensive could that possibly be? 

Naturally, it's advertising an American product. Shhh... no one tell Adidas!

Sheesh. I'm glad I have a place to vent about these things :)

Have a great day, all! And thanks again, Dena!