Plays on words in English (April 25, 2011)
Thread poster: RominaZ

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 25, 2011

This thread is part of the Translator playground: a place for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills. See the announcement here.

Need a quick break from work? In this forum translators and language professionals can share quotes about translation, tongue twisters and word plays, translation challenges, etc.

All are welcome to participate and to add new items to this and the other areas of the Translator playground; have fun with it! If you need help or would like to propose an addition to the Translator playground, contact site staff through the online support system.


Here's a selection of some plays on words in English and here is the challenge: Can you translate them and keep the effect in the target audience? Try it! It will be fun.

1.- Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery.
2.- A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
3.- Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
4.- Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
5.- A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
6.- A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
7.- Without geometry, life is pointless.
8.- When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.
9.- Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
10.- A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
11.- Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
12.- When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
13.- A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired..
14.- What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)
15.- A backwards poet writes inverse.
16.- A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
17.- He often broke into a song because he couldn't find the key.
18.- Every calendar's days are numbered.
19.- He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
20.- The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
21.- Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
22.- Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
23.- When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Source: http://www.alphadictionary.com/fun/pun.html

Please add some wordplays in your language and invite your colleagues to participate as well!


 

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:35
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Thanks for sharing, Romina Apr 25, 2011

that site is brillianticon_smile.gif

 

Mykhailo Voloshko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:35
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Train to Morrow Apr 25, 2011

I translated it into Russian and Ukrainian:

http://www.wordhord.com/humor/muppet-show-train-to-morrow/

Unfortunately, the translations are not about trains or Morrow.
However, the effect is similar.icon_smile.gif


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 13:35
English to Croatian
+ ...
A question. Apr 25, 2011

Mykhailo Voloshko wrote:

I translated it into Russian and Ukrainian:

http://www.wordhord.com/humor/muppet-show-train-to-morrow/

Unfortunately, the translations are not about trains or Morrow.
However, the effect is similar.icon_smile.gif


How did you manage to play with "to Morrow" and "tomorrow" in Russian, while pertaining the original storyline and form? Did you find suitable words? Is your translation singable?

A lot of Muppet Show script/humor is based on puns, therefore a great challenge for translators.


 

Mykhailo Voloshko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:35
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
replies Apr 25, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:

How did you manage to play with "to Morrow" and "tomorrow" in Russian, while pertaining the original storyline and form? Did you find suitable words? Is your translation singable?


Let's consider translation into Russian. The plot is:

A countryman for the first time comes to town to buy a souvenir. He wants to buy a figurine made of wood by a male and female Nepali, which sounds in Russian like neither by stick nor by finger. At least this is how the simple-minded countryman, who has never heard about Nepal, hears it.

Like in the original song, the salesman and the buyer do not understand each other. The countryman goes home with his purchase, he couldn't get the answer to his question "Who made the figurine". Нe says, "OK, I'll say it was brought from afar."

Sorry for muddled explanation.

And yes—both translations are singable.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2011-04-25 20:34 GMT]


 

Ljiljana Krstic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 13:35
English to Serbian
+ ...
translations to Serbian & links to puns and word plays in Serbian Apr 27, 2011

I translated just a few into Serbian-others can't have the same effect:

2.- Krvna grupa pesimiste je uvek b-negativna.
7.- Bez geometrije je čovek izgubljenu prostoru.
18.- Dani svakog kalendara su odbrojani.
19.- Imao je fotografsko pamćenje koje nikad nije razvijeno.

- Šta kaze Brus Vilis kad dodje u prodavnicu racunarske opreme? "Daj hard." (literal translation: What does Brus Willis say in a computer shop: "Gime(daj) hard"!
- Gospodar pršljenova = kiropraktičar
- Giving new batteries to my child whose calculator bateries emptied fast I said: "You can count on these"
- "Time flies." "I can't, they're too fast."
- In the mechanical workshop: a case full of ball bearing balls

Here are links to some sites with wordplays in Serbian

http://www.zikison.net/zikison38_files/zikison38.htm

and international:
http://www.damncoolpictures.com/2010/10/epic-fails-part-6.html
http://www.jnweb.com/funny/translation.html

There are numerous sites like this I'm sure you've already visitedicon_smile.gif)


 

gloria montserrat  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:35
English to Catalan
+ ...
translations to Catalan Apr 27, 2011

RominaZ wrote:

This thread is part of the Translator playground: a place for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills.

Need a quick break from work? In this forum translators and language professionals can share quotes about translation, tongue twisters and word plays, translation challenges, etc.

All are welcome to participate and to add new items to this and the other areas of the Translator playground; have fun with it! If you need help or would like to propose an addition to the Translator playground, contact site staff through the online support system.


Here's a selection of some plays on words in English and here is the challenge: Can you translate them and keep the effect in the target audience? Try it! It will be fun.

1.- Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery.
2.- A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
3.- Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
4.- Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
5.- A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
6.- A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
7.- Without geometry, life is pointless.
8.- When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.
9.- Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
10.- A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
11.- Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
12.- When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
13.- A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired..
14.- What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)
15.- A backwards poet writes inverse.
16.- A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
17.- He often broke into a song because he couldn't find the key.
18.- Every calendar's days are numbered.
19.- He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
20.- The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
21.- Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
22.- Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
23.- When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Source: http://www.alphadictionary.com/fun/pun.html

Please add some wordplays in your language and invite your colleagues to participate as well!


 

gloria montserrat  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:35
English to Catalan
+ ...
translation to Catalan Apr 27, 2011

2. El grup sanguini d'un pessimista sempre és be(n) negatiu.
6. Un xafarder és algú que té molt sentit del rumor.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 13:35
English to Croatian
+ ...
I don't think so. Apr 27, 2011

Ljiljana Krstic wrote:
7.- Bez geometrije je čovek izgubljenu prostoru.


This can't be translated either because we can't play with point ( geometrical point) and point( sense, meaning) in our language. It doesn't match.

Perhaps your translation is not incorrect, but the punning is not there.


 

Milena Nikolić  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:35
English to Montenegrin
+ ...
i'll try :) Apr 27, 2011

2.- A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
Krvna grupa pesimiste je uvijek b negativna.


6.- A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Tračara, to je neko sa mnogo smisla za trač.

7.- Without geometry, life is pointless.
Bez geometrije, život gubi smjernicu.


19.- He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
Imao je fotografsko pamćenje koje nikad nije razvijeno.


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:35
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Portuguese Apr 28, 2011

Most puns are impossible to translate into Portuguese without losing the pun. For example, number 1 "Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery" would be impossible to translate keeping the pun, as the two meanings of charged are different in Portuguese (carregado x acusado), as are the two meanings of battery (bateria x agressão). The same goes for most of the others.

The only translatable ones would appear to be 18 and 19:

18. Cada calendário está com seus dias contados. (Literally "days counted" and not "numbered" but the meaning is the same)
19. Tinha uma memória fotográfica que nunca foi revelada. (In Portuguese "revelar" is to develop a film as well as to reveal)


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:35
Member (2008)
English to French
French Apr 28, 2011

I'll give it a try (disclaimer, less than 5 minutes was put into this)


Le groupe sanguin d'un pessimiste est toujours O négatif.
(same as the English except "o" sounds like "au" which mean "in the negative")

Le nom Pavlov vous fait-il réagir?
(Does the name Pavlov make you react)

Un régime réussi dépend de l'assiéttée.
(A successful diet depends on the size of the plate/satiety... quite proud of this one actually)

Sans la géométrie, la vie n'a aucun sens.
(Without geometry, like has no direction/meaning.)

Réver en couleurs, c'est un pigment de l'imagination
(exactly the same as the english)

Un poète renversé écrit à l'encre vert.
(un upside down poet writes with green ink/backwards - though I had to leave vert in the masculine form so not perfect).


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:35
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dutch Apr 29, 2011

1.- Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery.
De batterij werd ervan beschuldigd de spanning op te voeren.
The battery was accused of creating tension/power

2.- A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
De resusfactor van een pessimist is altijd negatief.
Almost the same as the original, but a little less cunning.

4.- Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Doet de naam Pavlov een belletje rinkelen?
Same as original.

5.- A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
Een geslaagd dieet is de triomf van geest over vlees.
Triumph of spirit over flesh, with a biblical reference.

6.- A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Ondanks zijn ziekte behield hij zijn gevoel voor tumor.
Despite his illness he kept his sense of tumor.

7.- Without geometry, life is pointless.
Zonder vertalers zou het leven zinloos zijn.
Without translators, life would be without meaning/sentence.

8.- When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.
Wanneer je droomt over groente, is dat ontsproten aan je verbeelding.
When you dream about vegetables, that 'sprouts' from your imagination.

9.- Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
Wie te lang leest in de zon, kan verstand raken.
Who reads in the sun too long, can get intelligent - the word 'verstand' is a bit like 'verbrand', meaning burned.

11.- Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Dijon vu, dezelfde mosterd als eerder.
Same as original

15.- A backwards poet writes inverse.
Een schrijver van boerenromans schrijft achter zijn voren.
A writer of pagan novels writes 'behind his furrows', which sounds as 'backwards'.

19.- He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
Hij had een fotografisch geheugen dat helaas niet was ontwikkeld.
Same as original.

21.- Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
Heb je één restaurant gezien, dan ken je ze alle maal.
Once you've seen one restaurant, you've seen 'all meals', which sounds like 'them all'.

Not all very funny, not all very literal, but it's an effort...


 

Aleksandar Gasic
Montenegro
Local time: 13:35
English to Serbo-Croat
+ ...
not really Apr 29, 2011

Ljiljana Krstic wrote:

I translated just a few into Serbian-others can't have the same effect:

2.- Krvna grupa pesimiste je uvek b-negativna.


Cannot really be translated. Any way you look at it, you cannot incorporate "b"; i.e. b-negative is in fact "budi negativan".


 


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


Plays on words in English (April 25, 2011)

Advanced search






Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €435 / $519
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €435 / $519 / £345 / ¥63000 You will also receive FREE access to Studio 2019 when released.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search