Amerikanische  Übersetzungen von/by Sherey M. Gould





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A sampling of amusing and    informative articles and more ....

Two languages at the price of both
The Denglish craze: Coming or Going?
Decide for yourself:

Denglish bei der Deutsche Bank

Snappy slogans in Denglish

{from NY Times}

Tongue Twisters/Zungenbrecher
A stupendous collection!

"The world's 1st international and largest collection of tongue twisters" ( 3560 entries in 118 languages )

click here.... (external link)

Janus Words
meaning one word which has two completely opposite meanings (eee gads!)

New Word-Watching
What makes a new word stick?
Do you google?
Do you ping your friends?
Are you operating at full bandwidth?

We use them almost every day, but most people don't even know what they are.
As in: Acoustic guitar. Rotary phone. Whole milk.
             Woodburning fireplace. Natural turf.

Lost in (online) Translation
Or: How to render documents meaningless |
     with online translation tools

       Lost-in-translation signs to be cleansed
                             for Beijing 2008 Olympics

For years, foreigners in China have delighted in the loopy English translations that appear on the nations signs. They range from the offensive – Deformed Man outside toilets for the handicapped – to the sublime – Show Mercy to the Slender Grass on park lawns. In other words: Chinglish!*

Green grass dreading your feet

* displays Chinglish beauties, the wonderful results of an English dictionary meeting Chinese grammar.
This is about passion not mockery.

Where pronunciation rules
Nouns versus verbs
 (produce, project, rebel, reject, etc.)

The Unfaithful Art of Translation
Louise Steinman, Los Angeles Times © 2001

There is little public awareness or understanding of the demanding art of creating the same work even an option?

Many Languages, A Common Passion
Trying to Retain Meaning,
               Spirit of a Writer's Work
     Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times © 2002

The alchemy of translation occurs precisely at that point where an essentially new work is created.

Translation, like any form of literary interpretation, is subject to manipulation and contamination by foreign values and biases, whether by intention or subconsciously. At the same time, the only people who truly know how to read and write are translators.

Navajo Code Talkers:
Prime Example of Cultural Adjustment

Some of the languages of the Navajo tribe were utilized during the two World Wars for military information transmissions in deciphered forms, as they were so little known to outside. Yet for those Navajo, most military jargon was far from the cultural settings in which they lived. There were no tanks, amphibians, bombers, fighter planes, no five star generals or Marines. Yet they transferred the new concept of English language into their own – for instance dive bomber= chicken hawk, fighter plane= hummingbird, or battleship= whale.

A huge list has now been declassified by the
Dept. of Defense and its an amazing read!
Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary

(but did they know the Sanskrit word for
  war means:desire for more cows - ?!

An easy translation job
There is no such a thing as an easy translation job for the simple reason that experience should never lead to complacency

On "soiling one's hands" with 'low' literature or 'mere' technical documents or corporate reports and why the client who asks for a volume discount may not realize that the longer a job is, the more difficult it actually becomes.

Translator Danilo Nogueira contributing to
Translation Journal Vol.5 No.4, Oct. 2001

Bulk Discounts: The Ins and Outs
You cant be completely black and white
                                     in a grey world!

The Germanization of English
actually published close to 15 years ago in Verbatim,
and still a wonderful (and timely) piece today,
even if highly critical of us upstart Yanks!

The Chaos of English

...say break and steak,
but bleak and streak,
blood and flood are not like food,
say even aver, but ever, fever;
though, through, plough, dough, cough
yet hiccough has the sound of cup...
The author's 1922 advice: Just give it up!!

Missing the Big Picture

Transforming sows ears:
A growing niche market

Translators need to understand how vertical markets like finance or telecoms use their work – or the results may be useless.

Chris Durhan is a Paris-based freelance translator
Reprinted with permission from
Language International, Vol.11 No.3, June 1999

The Future of English
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), writer, editor, philologist and wit, wrote this article for the
April 1935 issue of
Harper's Magazine
Reprinted with permission (September 1999)

Why English is hard to learn

What scientists really mean

The First Patent in the New World

Patent trivia:
In its 200 years of existence, the United States Patent Office has issued nearly five million patents.
Roughly 80 percent of patent applications are rejected the first time around.

Laughing at Language
unfortunately somewhere along the way
I lost the original authors information /credits

Quotes for the Future
A great selection of quotes made down through the years which are quite funny
from the vantage point we enjoy today.

What the movies teach us
49 things you would never know without movies.

Items you wish your computer had

Clever recycling of computer in absence of above

How to really, really, REALLY annoy people!

Vol. 2 or:
How to Keep a Healthy Level of Insanity!

101 Amazing Earth Facts

My hovercraft is full of eels
(from Monty Pythons Hungarian Phrasebook sketch)
for those who likewise feel it is imperative to know this phrase in as many langauges as possible!

The dreaded Translation Project virus
(not a hoax!)


Pictures that play with your mind


Its now hip to be grammatically correct!

   Translation: Getting it Right
     A guide to buying translations
© A. Aparicio & C. Durban, 2001
Institute of Translation & Interpreting

                 a very well-written
           pdf brochure that sums up
         quite a lot of pressing issues!

    There are hundreds of ways a translation   project can go off track – ridiculous deadlines, ambiguities in the source text, no proofreading,
    poor cheap freelance translator,
    poor expensive freelance translator,
    no client input, and on and on.
    And perhaps the most important
    and yet most commonly disregarded   
    question bar none:
    How much time did your team
    spend producing the original

    By applying even half the tips in this leaflet,  you will improve your chances of getting a translation that works.

        GurkensalatHarry Potter

    Kritisches Kompendium zur deutschen Harry-Potter- Übersetzung-Sammlung von Merkwürdigkeiten, kleinen und krassen Fehlern ...

    To be astounded by the magnitude of the website - the literally hundreds of things that have caught the eye of a circumspect critic relative the German Harry Potter translations - click here.


                        More Harry Potter

       A bootleg Spanish-language version of
         Harry Potter in Venezuela comes complete
         with translators apologies for its errors.
BBC article)

But Star Wars fans
  feel the heat, too!

    As posted on the
    translator website in May 2005:
    Recently, on one of the German TV channels,
    the invited guest was George Lucas, on the occasion
    of the release of Episode III. The host and Lucas spoke
    with each other through an interpreter in the studio.
    When the host asked Lucas what was a common element in all six episodes of
    Star Wars, Lucas just smiled and said:
    May the force be with you.
    The interpreter translated this as:
    See you on May 4th.

One of the most entertaining amusements
         for those who have a good command of 
         both English and German...
       .... perhaps also an apt example of why
               one should stay away from computer
               translation programs!

A Bavarians letter to NASA

The following letters reprinted from:
Die besten englischen Filserbriefe.
Your true Gisela
published by
F.A. Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung and available at: Amazon

Filserbriefe at Amazon






   Real Live Translation Errors

    I would really like to showcase all the wonderful translation errors we all come across in our daily lives.
    Not those funny forwarded emails which cannot be traced or verified,
    but real live actual examples we come across in our daily lives.
    Please send me actual attributable contributions as you see fit.
    I'm starting this "campaign" off with but one great example I found some time ago in the
    local TV Guide... but I guarantee, many more to follow!
         even, to some degree, like:
    The Massachusetts Miracle
    Colours and contentents

    A wonderfully droll contribution
    from David Koblick:
    How many words does it take in various languages to say error ?

    Two very interesting multi-lingual greeting signs:
    Sign 1       Sign 2    
         More funny signs;

       Meanwhile, as seen on a website
       offering jobs to translators:
I am looking for native speakers of
           Spanish resident in Germany who are
           interested in a long-term partnership
           in the area of software localization.
           Profound knowledge of SAP software
           is inevitable.
(I'd say so!)

    And just taking the current political correctness craze just one step too far,
    see this local ad for a Receptionist -
    oh, excuse me, a:
    Director of First Impressions - !

      On the subject of
    Machine Translation
    articles by Robert Youngblood
    International Herald Tribune

   Language vs. Machine
     Ambiguities Hinder Translation by Computer
Machine translation is far more difficult
             to program than code-breaking....
             computer systems do not do a good job
             of making use of the context...and the
             next 40 years dont look much better...

     Easy Ways to Get it Almost Right
     + Getting through Babble: 
         Where to look online  
There is a greater market for poor-
               quality translation... every time you
             machine-translate something, there will
             be some deterioration of quality...

Fun (and informative)
Wordsmithing Links

    a whopper list of German slang
    (note: even the really baaad words!)

    good listing of
    UK slang

    a light-hearted look at some differences between
    UK and USA English usage

    very helpful compendium of
    common errors in English

    Word Detective

    Word Origins

    World Wide Words
    what English words & phrases mean,
    where they came from, how they have evolved, and the ways in which people have been known to misuse them.

    Have you read your
    Starbucks cup lately

    I love some of these contributions from
    The Way I See It series, the collection of thoughts, opinions and expressions provided by notable figures as printed on Starbucks cups,
    such as this one:
    The Way I See It #29
    Every language is an old-growth forest – of the mind, a watershed of thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities. Of the 6,000 languages spoken today, fully half are not being taught to children. Every two weeks an elder dies and carriers into the grave the last syllables of an ancient tongue. Within a generation or two we are losing half of humanitys social, cultural and intellectual legacy.
                             –  Dr. Wade Davis
    National Geographic

orchestrating word&image
           the monthly newsletter on all things
               multilingual and typographic
Chuck Mountain

    His October 2006 edition is given completely over to a wonderful article written by Doug and Cindi Bower, authors of the book The Plain Truth about Living in Mexico: The Expatriate's Guide to Moving, Retiring, or just hanging out

    Learn Spanish: Why Americans Dont
    or: Xenoglossophobia!

    Another concern I have is that when Mexicans expatriate to America there is an American cultural expectation for them to learn English.
    You hear this all the time and currently it is one
    of the battle cries of the anti-Mexican movement in America. Yet, when Americans expatriate to Mexico, particularly retirees, they do not do what they expect
    the Mexicans to do when they expatriate to America — learn the language.


Gina Kim, Sacramento Bee

Is it possible we are entering the age of the grammatically correct?

(includes self-test and extensive list of commonly confused words)





AmiPros / Sherey M. Gould

Amidst the Redwoods by the Sea
Crescent City, California, USA

TEL:   (001) 707 464 8464