Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yogourt of fragmentation hand grenade

Ready to be fragmented?

Prepare your sides for a really severe splitting! Honestly, I have not laughed as loudly, or as much in ages, as I have at these two wonderfully screwed up translations.

How the hell the unsuspecting English speaking visitor is supposed to cope, is another matter entirely. Actually, now I know why British visitors stick to familiar English Breakfasts, Sunday Roasts, McDonalds and such, so prolific in the resorts. 

They obviously don't want to - literally - risk their lives with the local food!

The first example is a homemade desert menu (and the deserts), from a restaurant on the south of Gran Canaria, whose identity has been obscured to protect the guilty.

Miguel at Canarias Bruta (now closed) commented that "He who has translated this menu into other languages (without doubt, someone called Babelfish, Systran or similar) ought to get the Nobel prize for literature for such great work." And continued, "I am going to order the Brochette of Fruits. It ought to have an explosive flavour." You bet it will!

Oh, for those who didn't see it, where it said "yogourt of fragmentation hand grenade", it was actually trying and, obviously, failing utterly miserably, to say "pineapple yoghurt". :)

No, please, don't ask me how even a automated translation robot (even if it's on speed or acid) can make that connection! Personally, I'm not sure I really want to eat "Arm of Gypsy", either, but at least that was a faithful, literal translation of the Spanish original. Of the six items listed on that menu, not one of the English translations got it completely correct.

But, wait, there is more ... Bandage the fragmentation hand grenade

Once you've risked eating the aforementioned hand grenade, it is pretty likely that you will want a bandage and the intrepid Canary Island traveler need go no further than the Lagartario de la Montaña de Arucas (Lizard zoo in Arucas), also Gran Canaria.

This time, they suggest - and I am going to translate it because you will not work it out from the English at all - that, "If you want to see the lizards in action, throw them a tomato."

Fair enough, so far? The next bit is what got totally mangled, from "vendemos" (we sell) into bandage, which would have been "venda" in Spanish. What they really mean is that "if you don't have a tomato, we sell them in the restaurant." Perhaps, on the other hand, if you don't have a tomato, the lizard will bite you and you'll need first aid! :)

In all fairness to my neighbours, translations, it has to be said, are no better in Tenerife. I've had my rant previously about the Sweets of Canary and other Dodgy Translations. And, as I have said before and the above proves, menus everywhere contain similar examples of non-edible things to the point that I have given up on trying to translate their English.
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