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Off topic: Headaches
Thread poster: EdithK

EdithK  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:53
Member
Gaelic to German
+ ...
May 28, 2003

The Greek chairman of a patent case hearing (simultaneous interpreting) speaking English:

Ladies and gentlemen, after having explained the technical simultaneous translation equipment, let's do a dry run. Please put on your headaches.


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Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Tight headphones May 28, 2003

EdithKelly wrote:

The Greek chairman of a patent case hearing (simultaneous interpreting) speaking English:

Ladies and gentlemen, after having explained the technical simultaneous translation equipment, let's do a dry run. Please put on your headaches.


Perhaps his/her headphones were too tight.


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Jean-Luc Dumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:53
English to French
+ ...
Must be a headset of mind(e) May 28, 2003

In Greece, it is never cold enough for earmuffs. Anyway, I can never hear anything when I wear earmuffs., plus my face is frozen stiff.

JL

PS - I used to go to Greece a lot when I was a teenager - staying with one of my father's childhood friends in the same small town. And on a "volunteer" basis (of course and already), I would be providing interpreting services [(from Greek-English to French) (I was 16/17 to slightly older Greek guys (19/21)] who were trying to "pick up" French female tourists, in this hotel which was part of a tour organization. They were not taking themselves too seriously and did not care if it "worked" or not. The Greek word for their type of agressive "drague" as we say in French - is "kamaki" literally to "harpoon" or harpooning...

One evening, one of the nicest and least attractive guys of the group asked me to tell a young French lady : "You have beautiful eggs". He meant "eyes"...


JL

[Edited at 2003-05-28 23:40]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
German to Italian
+ ...
in Germany as well May 28, 2003

One evening, one of the nicest and least attractive guys of the group asked me to tell a young French lady : \"You have beautiful eggs\". He meant \"eyes\"...


wow! I had more or less the same problem in Germany: I couldn\'t speak English without some kind of German influence. And when I meant eyes I said Eier (\"eggs\"): the plural of eye is... Eier, of course!

not to mention the vulgar meaning of Eier


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EdithK  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:53
Member
Gaelic to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Blunders in Germany re eggs May 29, 2003

Difficult, those Bavarians:

When they say I, they mean egg,
When they say egg, they mean corner,
when they say corner, they mean nobody.

Comprendere?


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:23
English to Tamil
+ ...
German aunts May 29, 2003

I am reminded of an unsuccessful interpretation job as mentioned in a German novel by Alexander Spoerl. I read the book in the German original of course. I have forgotten the title.
Post-war Germany under the allies' occupation, in the American sector. A German citizen has come to the American administrator with a complaint about the aunts in the neighbour's house. Our hero is the interpreter. The man says that the aunts abuse him day-in and day-out. The American drawls that the aunts are horrible all over the world and German ones are no exceptions, it seems. But he gets the shock of his life, when the German goes on to add that these aunts leave their excrements all over his patio. The American exclaims that he cannot believe it even of German aunts and turns to the interpreter and queries: Aunts? The poor interpreter turns red. The German was complaining about the Enten (ducks) and the interpreter has hasily translated the same as aunts. He has no other go but to slink away from that place.



Lorenzo Lilli wrote:

One evening, one of the nicest and least attractive guys of the group asked me to tell a young French lady : "You have beautiful eggs". He meant "eyes"...


wow! I had more or less the same problem in Germany: I couldn't speak English without some kind of German influence. And when I meant eyes I said Eier ("eggs"): the plural of eye is... Eier, of course!

not to mention the vulgar meaning of Eier


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:53
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
French can be difficult too May 29, 2003

These stories remind my of an anecdote my French teacher used to tell:

He was on a school exchange to France and his host family had taken him to a very posh restaurant. The food was already on the table when he noticed he didn't have a fork. As the place was very busy, he decided to help the waitress and call to her to bring a fork so he shouted out "Une fourche s'il vous plaît" in a rather grotty accent. Everyone starting laughing good naturedly - he'd just asked for a pitchfork! What he needed was "une fourchette"!


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MJ Barber  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
you bet French can be difficult Jun 3, 2003

Years ago, my sister and her friend went on a summer exchange programme to France. They were about 14 at the time, so you can imagine the surprise the friend gave the family she was staying with when she refused second helpings by saying, "No thanks, I'm pregnant".

Once they established that "I am full" does not translate literally as "Je suis pleine", they got over the shock. But she still goes bright red when she remembers it, after only 25 years!


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