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Off topic: A couple of brainteasers
Thread poster: Michael Jones
Michael Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 17, 2008

Many years ago when I was at University (many, many years ago I'm afraid), someone circulated this "ancient" inscription allegedly found scratched into a post near an old Spanish mission in Arizona:

TOTI
EMUL
ESTO

When I finally managed to work it out, I replied with what I claimed was the motto of an obscure Celtic religious sect: Ifi tfe elsgo ó ddoit

Anyone have any similar time wasters?


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:16
English to Dutch
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Not in English, but... Mar 17, 2008

I know a couple of these, only not English ones.

A French one:
Sisisisisi bois le travail sera vite fait

Two Dutch ones:

Next to the door of a French mansion:
Sochez et Savez, Sachiez Belle

An epitaph of a monk:
Hyphrat liveras pergus
Assure augur cis
Hyphrat sefas ogusto saves
Lapud um ocus


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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 04:16
English to Greek
+ ...
Carnival Treasure Hunt Mar 17, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I accompanied a group of children at the Corfu Carnival Treasure Hunt: It is a tradition on our island, it takes place the second last Saturday of the Carnival period and different groups of children, teenagers and students participate. The organizers give out some questionnaires with puzzles and brainteasers, as well as some questions related to history and landmarks of the town, which you have to visit, if you want to find the answer, and funny games, and participants dress up with funny costumes and masks and they go around town, visit landmarks and ask citizens, trying to answer.

One of this years brainteasers was the following:

"Name the food which, when raw, we remove the outside and cook the inside. When cooked, we eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it?"

It was a great experience and it was even greater that some 300 young people took part this year in a relatively small town!


The answer to the brainteaser above was corn!!!

[Edited at 2008-03-17 10:40]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:16
English to Arabic
+ ...
The age of Google.... Mar 17, 2008

Nowadays, the problem with brainteasers (which I love) is that they've lost their challenge aspect since they've become so easy to look up ..
Not that anyone's forced to do that of course, but after a few minutes of thinking I find it so hard to resist!
A few days ago my internet-savvy daughter came back from school with a word-jumble homework... She sat at the computer and a few minutes later had them all googled up! I thought that was so sad...

I can confirm that the "Ifi tfe elsgo ó ddoit" bit is completely yours though!

Go odo nemic hael...

[Edited at 2008-03-17 10:46]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:16
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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What does GHOTI spell? Mar 17, 2008

George Bernard Shaw once wrote an article advocating reformed spelling of the English language, in support of which he pointed out that a certain common word could be spelled GHOTI if the components of that word were pronounced as in specified other words. What is the word that could be spelled this way?
(You can find the answer through Google quite easily if you get fed up trying).


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 03:16
French to English
+ ...
GHOTI Mar 17, 2008

That's my party trick !

GH - is pronounced "f" as in "enough"
I - is pronounced as in "women"
SH - as in any word such as organisaTIon

The answer is FISH

God knows how often I've wheeled this one out.....

[Edited at 2008-03-17 12:37]


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 03:16
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
The Siamese national anthem Mar 17, 2008

I remember when I was little my Dad taught me the Siamese national anthem....

To the tune of God save the Queen...

Aaah waaaah taaaah naaaah, Siam
Aaah waaaah taaaah naaaah, Siam
Aaah waah-haah taah-haah naaaah, Siam
Aaah waaaah taaah naaaas.

Cruel, cruel, cruel.

Alison


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 03:16
Member (2002)
German to English
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Oh yes, and for those of you who speak French and English Mar 17, 2008

... there's the old favorite childrens rhyme:

"Un petit d'un petit s'attend de vol"



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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:16
Swedish to English
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Any primary school student in the UK should get this one Mar 17, 2008

Jack Doughty wrote:
George Bernard Shaw once wrote an article advocating reformed spelling of the English language, in support of which he pointed out that a certain common word could be spelled GHOTI if the components of that word were pronounced as in specified other words. What is the word that could be spelled this way?
(You can find the answer through Google quite easily if you get fed up trying).


That is, if their school has followed the government prescribed strategy that all primary schools should teach reading using only "synthetic phonetics". I.e. learning to read by learning the sounds of letters, or more often letter combinations.

For anyone interested in the English language and its pronunciation, I recommend this poem:

http://www.dcc.unicamp.br/~stolfi/PUB/misc-misc/DearestCreature.html

Thank God I taught my son "synthetic phonetics" in Swedish before he started English primary school. That way he had chance of learning how to enjoy reading before "education" had a chance of destroying his enjoyment.

PS. A spelling revision was implemented in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century. Ergo, spelling and pronunciation often correspond. In the UK, the last time something similar happened was sometime in the 17th century.


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Michael Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Nursery rhymes Mar 17, 2008

Alison Riddell-Kachur wrote:

... there's the old favorite childrens rhyme:

"Un petit d'un petit s'attend de vol"



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Michael Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Nursery rhymes Mar 17, 2008

Alison Riddell-Kachur wrote:

... there's the old favorite childrens rhyme:

"Un petit d'un petit s'attend de vol"



There is a brilliant collection of these, published many years ago by Courtland van Rooten called Mots d'Heures, gousses, rames:

http://www.aescon.com/aesconsulting/french/index.htm


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:16
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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And a German one.. Mar 18, 2008

A companion volume to Mot d'Heure Gousse Rames is:
Mörder Guß Reims. Available on Amazon.com.

I tried one or two myself in Russian, e.g. (to keep to the same original as un petit d'un petit)

А мать ты, дама ты, зато неволь,
А мать ты, дама ты, зад греет фал!
А льда? Киншаса зона льда! Кит змеин!
Код, он "путь". А мать ты, ты ГЭС эроген!

explaining its meaning as follows:

This is the story of a ship's captain who has to take his unruly mother on a dangerous voyage. He warns her that though she is his mother, and a lady, he will, though unwillingly, warm her bottom with a rope's end if necessary. He has other problems too. The ice situation is unprecedentedly bad. The snake-like whale is presumably starving, having been driven far from its feeding grounds by the ice. Even Kinshasa (capital of Zaire, in Central Africa) is an ice zone! The code word "route" is presumably needed to pass the guard posted outside his mother's cabin - a wise precaution, since she is, as he tells her, "a powerhouse of sexual stimulation".

I also turned the whole of Good King Wenceslas into a Russian story about Robin Hood, but I won't reproduce that or any of the others here. They don't appeal to everyone's sense of humour.

[Edited at 2008-03-18 04:08]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
George Bernard Shaw Mar 18, 2008

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Jack Doughty wrote:
George Bernard Shaw once wrote an article advocating reformed spelling of the English language, in support of which he pointed out that a certain common word could be spelled GHOTI if the components of that word were pronounced as in specified other words. What is the word that could be spelled this way?
(You can find the answer through Google quite easily if you get fed up trying).


That is, if their school has followed the government prescribed strategy that all primary schools should teach reading using only "synthetic phonetics". I.e. learning to read by learning the sounds of letters, or more often letter combinations.

For anyone interested in the English language and its pronunciation, I recommend this poem:

http://www.dcc.unicamp.br/~stolfi/PUB/misc-misc/DearestCreature.html

Thank God I taught my son "synthetic phonetics" in Swedish before he started English primary school. That way he had chance of learning how to enjoy reading before "education" had a chance of destroying his enjoyment.

PS. A spelling revision was implemented in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century. Ergo, spelling and pronunciation often correspond. In the UK, the last time something similar happened was sometime in the 17th century.


I believe George Bernard Shaw had a shot at reforming English spelling in the early 20th century to make it more logical (see Jack's earlier post here re GHOTI), and even left a large sum in his will to promote the idea, but it never caught on (or should I say "kort on"?).
Regards,
Jenny.

[Edited at 2008-03-18 06:53]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
German to English
+ ...
Coffee break stuff Mar 18, 2008

Check this out - a non-anagram type of word generator that provides a very useful dictionary. Sent by a peer who suggested posting one of the words on Kudoz.

Example: 'YIMHESOSS' - fabricated news-stories about middle-class hippies changing lightbulbs each Valentines day.

http://arf.noemata.net/etc/words.htm#entry

Makes you wonder which GHOTIy programmer wrote the code.


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KathyT  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 11:16
Japanese to English
WYBMADIITY? Mar 18, 2008

My all-time favorite - admittedly slightly straying off topic, tho'!
We have a lovely sign with "WYBMADIITY" in old-fashioned lettering that sits proudly behind our bar at home - used to belong to my grandfather

It would be my pleasure to inform anyone with insufficient Googling skills what this refers to at the next Powwow we attend together


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