You Were Saying…?

This week is an especially busy one (my University course begins on Tuesday), so I am taking advantage of the never ending stream of mis-translated and bogus comments that flow into the “comment pending” section like water pouring into a washing machine. At times, deleting them can be a tad tiresome. But then, some come along that turn out to be great treasures. I consider them “found art.” Here are some of my favorites:

 I in addition to my pals have already been examining the best pointers from the blog and unexpectedly came up with a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to you for those techniques. All the boys happened to be absolutely thrilled to learn them and now have pretty much been using those things.

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

I’d must test with you here. Which is not one thing I normally do!

I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web site is actually fastidious.

I promise to strive to be as fastidious and tasteful as I can, especially in honor of “the boys.” Meanwhile, please damp down those terrible suspicions.

These comments led to a conversation at brunch with friends about our favorite mis-translations. Here are a few:

“It’s like sucking on your fingers!” (Huge sign over a Kentucky Fried Chicken in northern Mexico, clearly motivated by the U.S. equivalent, “It’s finger-licking good!”)

Come to beautiful Sils Maria!  Leave your worries at home.  Sils Maria is a waste disposal site”.  (A spa that specializes in cleansing treatments in France.)

“Hotel and Butchery” (Sign over a small, dilapidated building south of Nairobi. This might not be a mis-translation, but we still loved it.)

MEANWHILE, back on the farm: I’m taking Contemplative Photography again, such fun. Here is some of my “homework,” in response to our assignment to focus on light. I hadn’t planned to take so many of the cats, but there they were, and there was the sun and the shadow, and I just couldn’t resist…

Nellie in tree

polly paws







  1. Beth says

    Your white cat looks so much like our Boo, except Boo has blue eyes.

    My favorite bad translation of all time is this gem, allegedly from a car rental handbook in Tokyo:

    “When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.”

    No matter how many times I see it, I giggle hysterically. I must confess I have on occasion tootled people with great vigor.

  2. EmilySHS says

    Oh dear… I thought it was funny until a dread suspicion overtook me: I’ll bet I sound exactly like that to my poor dog…

    And there is no such thing as too many kitty pictures. Beautiful. :)

  3. Cathy Galuska says

    Wow! The image of the white cat is one of the most original I’ve seen. I love it! I have taken many images of cats, dogs, you name it, but this one is very creative. Good job!

  4. sue says

    I too, in addition to have to love your blog and learn ed so much from it.
    Really….Thanks for the laugh!

  5. Joe says

    When a non-English speaker writes in English, the results can be, well, ahem, “Interesting.” Nice kitty pix!

    Took my lovely rescued Cocoa out for a walk today–SHE walked on the snow crust, and waltzed about. I OTOH, broke through the crust about every 3rd step, could never plan on when I’d break through or when I could stand on the crust. Cocoa had a sniffy good time. I got a workout!

  6. Trisha says

    Beth: Congratulations on the funniest mis-translation I think I’ve ever heard. I will now advise “vigorous horn tootling” with abandon.

    And EmilySHS: Another LOL moment. You are dead on that we must be constant Google-Translations-Gone-Bad to our dogs. So funny!

    To Joe: My sympathies. The price of living in the frozen north that is not always equally frozen…

  7. Frances says

    I’ve now read the second example three times, and still can’t make head nor tail of it!

    The best I came across was in a compartment on an Italian sleeper train – I tried to take a photo but failed miserably, and didn’t copy down the wording. As I recall it involved responding to an emergency by flinging yourself from the compartment – into the arms of a handsome stranger, one hopes!

  8. says

    When I downloaded Bitdefender I got the advice to ‘Enjoy the side effects of this software’. :-)

    Conversation between Englishman and Dutchman
    E; “Spring is in the air”
    D: “Why should I??”
    (Spring is the Dutch word for ‘jump’)

    In Indonesia I saw this explosive dish on the menu; ‘Gordon blew”

    In Nepal they have a somewhat different approach to charity; the box at the airport where the collected small change for the short sighted, said “Help to blind”

  9. Kim says

    Hi Patricia, I have a question I hope you can answer; where do I start to become a certified dog trainer?
    I have read many, many books, yours and others, but it hasn’t helped me find a program for formal education. And while I read millions of words, and spend hours in careful observation, people like professional, paper, references.
    ( Ideally, I’d like to do what you do, but it’s even harder to find a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist school. )
    I currently hold a BA in English, have volunteered with the local Humane Society, and rescued a wonderful Border Collie/Lab mix that is adored and praised for her manners wherever we go. I routinely manage overstimulation at the dog park, and have had multiple strange dogs run to me for help with dog “bullies”. It cuts me to the quick to see a dog misunderstood by its owner, punished and neglected for just being a dog, and living a (wholly unnecessary) life of stress and anxiety. If I could move them (and me!) all out to a big farm in the country, I would, but one can’t personally rescue every pup in need.

    So I want to be a force for good in the dog world; the anti-Cesar. I want to teach people how to make a canine partnership. (And if you want something that’s clean, quiet, and easy, get a fish.) I want to help train service dogs, for veterans with PTSD, and other people with disabilities. I want to start a program for educating children early about animal behavior, and give at-risk youth a chance for healthy exposure to unconditional love.
    But most of all, I want to get started, Right Now.
    I’ve collected a small library, and I’m looking at canine massage therapy programs as a way to get my foot in the proverbial door, as well as a study in anatomy.
    Can you recommend any advanced resources or reading? Is there a network of dog professionals, eagerly waiting as mentors for young, stupid, go-getters? Or is this another case of fake-it-til-you-make-it, self-education is king?

    Thank you so much for your time, and your wonderful blog.

  10. Gail says

    Saw this in the window of a Deli in NYC a few years ago:

    Order Early
    We are Super Bowel Ready!

    Pays to have someone proof read before you hang a very large sign in the window.
    Cat pics are wonderful!

  11. Robin Jackson says

    Training someone else’s dog is vastly different than training your own dog. For one thing, the bond is different. And for another, you will spend at least as much time training the person as you will training the dog. There’s always a need for those who can do it well, and it’s great that you want to develop your own skills.

    There are many excellent resources for those who want to become professional pet dog trainers. APDT is always a good resource.

    Several top trainers offer quality courses, including KPA (the Karen Pryor Academy) and Jeanne Donaldson.

    I’m sure Trisha will have much more to say about actually becoming a behaviourist, which requires an advanced academic degree.

    If you’re interested in becoming a service dog trainer, though, I can only recommend two routes. 1) apply as an apprentice with one of the large programs like CCI or an IGDF member guide dog school. or 2) attend Bergin University of Canine Studies (an accredited university offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees).

    Service dog training requires knowing both dog training and the occupational therapy side of providing mitigating assistance to someone with a disability. It’s not just an “add on” to regular pet dog training.
    An inappropriately matched service dog may set someone back in their own healing, or literally create a life threatening situation. Being a competent service dog trainer is a specialty career and requires significant hands on education.

  12. Annie R says

    That second one left me chuckling without really knowing why; I finally realized what I was seeing in it; it gives new meaning to a medical descriptor we sometimes use for neurologically compromised patients who speak in a pattern called “word salad”. The second example is a great exemplar of it; just like listening to a person who is earnestly telling you something that they think you should understand, in reading it I am straining to find the pattern, yet as it goes along it gets more and more impossible to find anything sensible in it . . . yep, “word salad” just about sums it up.
    That pic of the white kitty feet and the curl of the tail is intriguing also, and lovely.

  13. Rebecca Rice says

    @Annie R: It makes me wonder if it’s a bot, trying to get through a spam filter by sounding like it might possibly be human.

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