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Off topic: Medical Humor
Thread poster: Pnina
Local time: 18:15
Italian to Hebrew
+ ...
Jul 29, 2004

Dear Translators,

I would like to share with you my recent discovery.

I wanted to know the meaning of the expression "chicken breath", so I looked for it in English websites.

I found this definition: "Chicken breath = Short of breath."

Then I found the story behind the definition: "one of the doctors was surprised to see a diagnosis of "Chicken breath." In order to clarify what this was, the doctor went and talked to the person taking the history and the interpreter. It turned out that the interpreter had said in English with a Spanish accent "Chee kahnt breedth", which was interpreted as "chicken breath".

I wish you a pleasant and enjoyable summer.

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
English to Tamil
+ ...
And how about German aunts? Jul 30, 2004

This I read in one of Jurek Becker's novels. The scene takes place in occupied Germany immediately after the war in the American zone. The protoganist is an interpreter. One German comes to the occupation authorities and complains about his neighbor. In the course of the same he is telling that the neighbour's aunts keep on making noise. The officer is sympathetic and tells that one is really helpless against aunts. The nighbour goes on to say that these aunts leave excrement in his place. The officer is shocked out of his complacence and exclaims that he cannot believe it even of German aunts and turns to the inetrpreter for clarification. (The entire conversation was of course conducted through interpreter). Now it is the turn of the interpreter to be confused. Actually the German was complaining against the "Ente" and this interpreter translated it as "aunt". He just had to slink away with red face.

P.S. Actually I was not clear whether it was in a book by Alexander Spoerl or Jureck Becker, in which the above incident took place. After much thought I opted for the latter.

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