Off topic: KudoZ Song and Christmas Quiz
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:24
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Dec 19, 2005

(with acknowledgements to Julian Slade and Dorothy
Reynolds for “The Things That are Done by a Don”
from the 1954 musical “Salad Days”, and to Rita Heller
for giving me the idea)

Oh, the things that are done on KudoZ
Are really quite amazing.
They can tell you the French
For a perch or a tench,
Or the Welsh for double glazing!
Answer wise or guess disputable,
Argument weak or irrefutable.
Oh, the things, the mad mad things
That are done on the Proz-Kudoz!

Oh, the things that are done on KudoZ
Are like a Christmas panto,
When they seek how to speak
Of a geek in Greek,
Or an ant in Esperanto!
What’s a good word in Bulgarian
For antidisestablishmentarian?
Oh, the things, the mad mad things
That are done on the ProZ-KudoZ!

Oh, the things that are done on KudoZ
Are triumphs of defining.
What’s Caerphilly cheese in Japanese?
What’s Aztec for silver lining?
What would an igloo be in Hottentot?
Someone will know among this clever lot.
Oh, the things, the mad mad things
That are done on the ProZ-KudoZ!

Hardly anyone will even have heard of “Salad Days” now (it was popular in England once, but that was 50 years ago, and it was a flop in the USA), so I’d better give you the music.


And did I say something about a quiz? Oh yes – can we see who can answer most questions from the song? The KudoZ questions (on a no-points basis) are:
Perch (Eng>Fr)
Tench (Eng>Fr)
Double glazing (Eng>Welsh)
Geek (Eng>Greek)
Ant (Eng>Esperanto)
Antidisestablishmentarian (Eng>Bulg)
Caerphilly cheese (Eng>Jap)
Silver lining (Eng>Aztec)
Igloo (Eng>Hottentot).

Best of luck!

[Edited at 2005-12-20 11:37]

[Edited at 2005-12-20 16:55]


Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:24
+ ...
A few quiz responses Dec 19, 2005

"Perch" (the fish) is "perche" in French and "tench" (Tinca tinca) is "tanche". "Ant" is "formiko" in Esperanto and if you've ever smelled the nasty smell that some crushed ants emit (due to the presence of *formic* acid) the etymology is clear. "Caerphilly cheese" comes out as "Kaerufiirii chiizu" in Japanese. I doubt that *Hottentot* (or any other of the Nguni or Bantu languages) has a word for "igloo" given that these languages are spoken in the southernmost portion of Africa (the side that borders the Indian Ocean) and "igloo" comes from Inuktitut/Inupiat (Canada, Greenland, Alaska). I'll leave the rest, including "Geek" in Greek and "antidisestablishmentarian" in Bulgarian to other, hardier souls.

[Edited at 2005-12-19 23:26]


JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 16:24
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Amazing. Dec 20, 2005

Jack, you wear a hat and I do not, but mine is figuratively doffed to you. And my jaw is literally dropped. Thank you, I needed that after last night's all-nighter!

(That's "Thank you, Jack," with a comma.)

Sorry I can't contribute to the quiz. Will already got the only one I knew.


Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:24
+ ...
Here are a few more Dec 20, 2005

"Double glazing" is "Gwydro Dwbl" in Welsh. If, by Aztec, you mean the Nahuatl language and by "silver lining" you mean "something good or positive or desirable" (as in "Every cloud has a silver lining") one suggestion is "Chalchiuhecatl". This literally means "jade" but the term is also used (metaphorically) to mean "anything that is precious". For "geek" I suggest "ksenerotos" (someone who is too sober) or maybe "moukhlas" which literally means "mouldy". Having said all that, i'll leave the single final term (disestablishmentarian) to a Bulgarian that i sincerely, sincerely hope is either a seminarian or a librarian ;0) and let them supply the answer. Cheers.

[Edited at 2005-12-20 22:46]


United States
Local time: 13:24
French to English
+ ...
LOL Dec 20, 2005

Hi Jack!

great encore - you have outdone yourselficon_smile.gif

I am laughing very hard - between the smell of ants (I guess I managed to live this long without smelling crushed ants!) and the moldy (sober?) geeksicon_smile.gif


Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:24
English to Polish
+ ...
No 1 in Poland too! Dec 20, 2005

Great song (I won't pretend that I know the tune, however)!



Local time: 21:24
French to English
Can't answer the questions, but I can sing the song! Dec 20, 2005

Thanks Jack, I love your rhymes and songs. I can actually boast an involvement in not one but two productions of "Salad Days" (at school and university) and was a don in this very chorus - can almost remember the movements.
Actually I think your version may well be an improvement on the original. By the 1980s when I became familiar with Salad Days, the idea of crusty old begowned dons who did wild and whacky things like "that night when I and the warden/went out in a boat in order to quote the jolliest bits of Auden" was pretty strange. In fact the whole musical is pretty strange: a magic piano, a clown-like principal character who never talks... but could you do us a Proz version of the "cleopatra" nightclub song?


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:24
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Congratulations and Greetings Dec 20, 2005

Congratulations to willmatter for finding so many answers and describing them in such a witty way.
Greetings to Buzzy! I had never expected to turn up a real live Don! I don't remember the Cleopatra song but I have the score for it, so I'll try it out on the piano later, but I don't promise anything.
I saw the original London production in 1955. Even then it was a strange plot (I never quite understood what the flying saucer had to do with it, for one thing), but the audiences of those days loved it. It was panned by the critics on its first night, but rapidly gained a huge reputation by word of mouth, and ran for years. It also opened in New York, where the critics also panned it, and were believed, so it was a flop there.
In 1959, my then girlfriend (now my wife) and I celebrated our engagement by going to another Slade and Reynolds musical, "Free As Air". This had a Brigadoon-type plot about an island which only came to life for one day once every hundred years. That too had some great tunes. I have always wanted to write something to the tune of "Testudo" from that one, but have never got around to it.
I had forgotten about the revival of "Salad Days" in the eighties. It was certainly worth reviving.
Thanks to all of you for your kind comments.


David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:24
Spanish to English
Christmas greetings Dec 20, 2005

Well done, Jack, I enjoyed reading your song. It is good to see that there is always a lighthearted side to a translator's life. I worked in a hospital for many years and often had to work over the Christmas and New Year period, which always seems a bit harder and more sad at this time of year, but almost everyone had a cheerful smile for the patients and their families, with the consultants doing their rounds with Father Christmas hats on, and the Matron with tinsel around her neck.
Best wishes for everyone in


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