Tuesday, 17 February 2009

ABC Wednesday E for English Broken here...



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Some of the English books I used in various classes from beginners to advanced students.

It stands to reason that people whose native language isn't English keep making mistakes in this language. We try to use certain expressions, but this can sometimes turn out to be very funny. Even if we do our utmost to speak English correctly, there comes a moment that we say something wrong. Here are a few examples of people whose mother tongue is certainly not English!

IN A PARIS HOTEL ELEVATOR: Please leave your values at the front desk.

IN A HOTEL IN ATHENS: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m daily.

OUTSIDE A HONGKONG TAILOR SHOP: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

ON THE MENU OF A SWISS RESTAURANT: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

And what to think of this ?
IN A BANGKOK DRY CLEANER'S: Drop your trousers here for best results.

Here another indecent proposal!
IN A ROME LAUNDRY: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time!

More indecencies!
IN A ZURICH HOTEL:Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

It's going to be dangerous if you want to go to Rhodes!
IN A RHODES TAILOR SHOP: Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

IN THE LOBBY OF A MOSCOW HOTEL ACROSS A RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONASTRY: You are welcome to visit the cemetry where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

And what does this mean???
IN AN AUSTRIAN HOTEL CATERING TO SKIERS: Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

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47 comments:

Dina said...

LOL, good one, Wil! I trained as a translator and our class and teachers would collect such priceless bloopers. The funniest part is that often no one corrects such signs.
"English broken here"--must remember that one. Great.

Arkansas Patti said...

That is just too funny. You can see where all of them were going and were only a few words off. Wonder if anyone tries to correct them or do they just enjoy the chuckle.

Denise said...

So funny, thank you. Translations can be very interesting. I do admire people who speak other languages than their own.

TheWritersPorch said...

Wil.........There are two things that remain the same in every language...Hallelujah and Your Wonderful Smile !
((Hugs,))
Carol

Elizabeth said...

These are such fun!
And we understand exactly what they are meant to mean.....

jeannette St.G. said...

"the boots of ascension" that's funny - when we were travelling with our son in China, we had a good time with some of the signs in the hotels too.

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

yes reader Wil,
PFFFF I do not understand it all..
I know what you mean!!!! I was having some experience "on a moment'when I misunderstood a thing,the origionally english person did understand me (that I misunderstood haha) But english is a worldlanguage also for blogging.

Pfff Ik kan niet alles begrijpen wat daar staat...Ik had laatst dat ik iets vanuit engles in ned niet goed had begrepen, niet zo leuk maar de engelstalige begreep het wel haha. Maar engles is wel DE tall om in te bloggen , is een wereldwijde taal...

Happy ABC
from JoAnn's D Eyes/Holland

www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com

Carolina said...

Hahaha, very funny! Gosh, I hope I never make such mistakes :-O

RuneE said...

I loved that one. It made me smile - both because of the examples you have given, but also of myself. I have written some beauties in my time.

Her is on from Norway 1940:
English fighter pilots were lodgedat a hotel when some Nazi planes attacked. The alarm given was: "Alarm for flies!"

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Very funny, Wil. But people who speak English as their first and only language also make humorous mistakes. ;-)

naturglede said...

This was a greate post!Have a fun abc:)

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Wonderful! I think I liked the Bangkok Drycleaner's best.

Tyra

ChrisC and JonJ said...

How funny!!Loved your post.Don't you just love the English language and how others see us?

Patty said...

Yes the English language is hard even for us to understand.

Granny Smith said...

I'm still laughing! I just wonder how many such unintentionally funny gaffes I have made when speaking languages with which I am not entirely familiar.

Janie said...

These are great bloopers. I'm sure I'd make a fool of myself trying to speak another language, so I'll laugh quietly!

Babooshka said...

This a marvellous post. I agree inadvertently so much humour. The English language is a strange beast and fabulous for wordplay.

Cloudia said...

Wil: Sadly, english speakers are often as funny in their mangling of the langling.....Aloha my friend!

Today's Blah said...

LOL! So hilarious Wil! I remember a funny statement given by some school official to a classmate of mine: "I TOLD YOU NOT TO GO TO, YOU GO TO, NOW YOU LOOK AT" (???)

How'd you find that? :)

Sylvia K said...

That is so funny! Best laugh this afternoon! Your photoa are lovely and colorful! Thanks for sharing!

Janice Thomson said...

These were good Wil!
I had an English friend who on the boat trip over to Canada asked the steward to knock her up in the morning. We laughed quit a bit at that one. :)

Carol said...

What a funny post...very much enjoyed this...I used to teach English as a second language and this brought back memories...

Brenda said...

Those were really funny. I butcher the English language on a regular basis, unfortunately.

Tumblewords: said...

I've always been fond of this type errata and this list takes the cake. Love it...

raccoonlover1963 said...

Hi Wil.
It's funny that you have this subject posted on your blog. Patty (Old Lady Lincoln) also had the English language as her subject. Actually, about how crazy it is. The same words meaning totally different things and different words meaning the same thing.
Have a great week.
Lisa

photowannabe said...

This so funny. I agree with Dina...no one corrects those broken English signs.

Etje said...

Het woord verveling is je onbekend zeker ;-) je weet wel steeds wat te doen.

Groetjes

Ann said...

English has so many confusing words. I teach English as a second language to children and grown ups. Then there are localised phrases. In New Zealand, you may be invited to a "Bring a Plate," and the invited person wonder why the host doesn't have enough plates for the party.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a great enlightening post : ). But then again, your posts are always enlightening : ). Very cool entry!

Gramma Ann said...

Those were funny. Enjoyed your post today.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Love your broken English examples, Wil!

You colored sands header photo is absolutely gorgeous!

Rose said...

Thanks for the chuckles this morning, Reader Wil:) Learning English idioms has to be the hardest part of learning our language. Of course, it's the hardest part of any language--I've butchered many an expression in German myself:)

gone to the dogs said...

This was a much needed laugh for me. I have been so surpried at all the clever ideas for a letter that I thought had limited possiblities. This is my favorite so far.

Jay said...

I love that last one! How pedantic can you get? LOL!

Dragonstar said...

They are all good, but that last one is an absolute gem! Brilliant!

nonizamboni said...

Thanks for the endorphins! What a fun read.
Thanks for sharing. . .happy Wednesday!

Berthddu Suit said...

Fab post!!! Thanks fo the giggle :)

Femin Susan said...

How awesome! Thanks for sharing!
Blessings to you and your family……

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Americans find it charming when people screw up the English language. I wonder if other countries feel the same way about visitors' mistakes with their language.

Grace and Bradley said...

They are so funny. I remeber seeing an article describing all the broken English in public signs and notification in China. It is a harzard of being the most used language in the world.

Etje said...

Zit hier nog steeds te zoeken achter een foto voor Sky Watch Friday, hopelijk is het bij jou wat makkelijker.

Groetjes

Saretta said...

As an EFL teacher I love those examples of mistaken English! But, making mistakes is a normal part of speaking a foreign language. Nothing to be embarrassed about! I have lived in Italy for 18 years and make mistakes every time I open my mouth!

Miss_Yves said...

I don't understand everything , but some of these sentences made me laugh .
The book "play the role"is certainely interesting .

Reader Wil said...

Thank you all for your comments. I enjoyed reading them. This is what I thought:
Yes making mistakes is normal, but if it's spoken it's easy to correct, which I appreciate very much if some one corrected me, for I am an English teacher and I want to speak and write as fluently and without mistakes as possible. If it's written it's often not corrected.
In Australia I saw once a sign: "Womens and mens clothes". And "haredresser". And more of those wrongly spelled signs. Then I feel the urge to go into the shop and ask if it can be corrected, but fortunately I don't do that for I make enough other mistakes.

pictureeachday said...

Haha, thanks for a good laugh!

When a friend and I arrived on the doorstep of a hostel in Rome a couple years ago, we found a sign that said, "Playing to the door I place side by side." We couldn't figure out what it meant to save our lives. When eventually one of the girls running the place came out, she looked at us like we were stupid for not ringing the doorbell on the door next door, as the sign clearly told us to do. I think of that every time I see lists like this :)

(Mind you, if I had tried to translate something from English to Italian with a dictionary and write it down, it's entirely likely that I'd come up with an equally incoherent sentence.)

Nikki-ann said...

LOL Brilliant! :D

Barbara Martin said...

Wil, thank you for posting these. I needed a good laugh today.