Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun for Linguists (and other people too!)

I always enjoy the creative/interesting translations on signs, menus, etc. 

Here are some favorites:

a new cafe near my apartment:

A memo I received:

"Dear Colleagues,

In order to avoid any inconsistencies regarding final grades, extra attention should be given to the recording of scores.

English Department"

so, in order to do my job...do my job? thanks.

The title slide in a powerpoint at a departmental meeting:

"The Implementation of the Regulation Pertinent to the Quality Control of Teaching and Learning Procedures of the Examination Processes."

The title of one of the courses I teach is: 

"English for Specific Purposes"

....we're not gonna tell you what they are, but they're specific

Think it says "Lay" in English? My friend Ted pointed out that they did a really great marketing job because it also says "Lay" in Thai! What looks like an 'L' to us is an elongated 'sara ee' the which sounds like the way we say "A", what looks like the letter 'a' to us is the Thai 'L' (the vowel is written before the consonant but is still pronounced after it) and what looks like it could be a 'y' with a really curly tail is pronounced as a "y" in Thai (but usually looks more like a backwards 'B')

Sometimes I teach vocabulary, and I usually try to learn the Thai word after I have taught the English. Last week I spent several minutes in class explaining what a buffet was. I even mimed getting up and helping yourself, and said that it came from French, etc. Then I asked if they understood, and they nodded like they always do, even if they have no idea what I'm saying. I was skeptical. "Okay, what's the Thai word for buffet?"

(in unison) "buu-fay"

When shopping in the market, the nice ladies I buy produce from always suggest different things. I bought some pumpkin (ฟักทอง "fak-thaawng") and they offered me some of a long, green squash I had never seen before, "very good for soup!" I asked what it was called and turns out its ฟักเขียว "fak-khiaw" (yep, sound it out...)

and 2 classic examples:

Caution! Be Slip Down

Latin Club: A dancing club where adds you a hotness in the fashionable and elegant atmosphere with professional dancers who will make you fascinate in a hot step.


Estefi said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!! I love it!! XD


Daniel said...

Ali, you have always make me fascinate in a hot step.

Vilmarie said...

Hi Ali! I just caught up with your blog. Very entertaining, especially this entry! So what is the "specific purpose" of your English class?

Keep enjoying your travels and keep blogging! :)

Dad said...

Oh my god, I just about pissed myself laughing...

Dad (again) said...

And I likes very much to adds me a hotness in the fashionable and elegant atmosphere. Sounds like Carden St. Cafe.

Ali said...

haha - I can't say I even know what the intended "specific purpose" of the course is! The syllabus and all course content are standardized and provided for us, so I had no part in planning and therefore don't know what they mean. Perhaps they're referring to research, as that is the point of the class, but I wouldn't call that specific...

Tobey said...

oh man! those are amazing. the last one is my favorite. i so want to take that class....

thanks for visiting my blog. i miss you guys in CM!

O'Bar said...

This is fantastic!