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Lost in translation (comic reliefs)

To make a long story short...
A missionary goes to Africa to visit a community, a very old, primitive tribal community. He gives a long sermon. For half an hour he tells a long anecdote, and then the interpreter stands up. He speaks only four words and everyone laughs uproariously. The missionary is puzzled. How is it possible that a story half an hour long can be translated in four words. What kind of amazing language is this? Puzzled, he says to the interpreter, "You have done a miracle. You have spoken only four words. I don't know what you said, but how can you translate my story, which was so long, into only four words?"
The interpreter says, "Story too long, so I say, 'He says joke -- laugh!' "



Help!
Two translators on a ship are talking."Can you swim?" asks one."No" says the other, "but I can shout for help in nine languages."



Hieroglyphics
There were a group of archeologists who dug up a line of hieroglyphics that were, from left to right: a dog, a donkey, a shovel, a fish, and a Star of David. After years of study they came up with an explanation. They believed that this was a very wise group of people. First, they knew man had to have company, hence the dog. Next, they knew that they needed animals to help with work, so the donkey. The shovel was there because of their advanced knowledge of tools. Next, they knew that they had to eat, and that fish were the best source of food. Finally, they were a religious group and knew man had to have religion.
After the explanation, a man jumped up and said, "You fools, Hebrew is read from right to left! It says 'Holy mackerel, dig the ass on that bitch!'

9 comentarios:

  1. HOW TO TRANSLATE A JOKE
    September 23rd, 2008, by April

    The best advice is simply: don’t!

    I remember the first time I brought my French boyfriend, Laurent, home for the holidays. Although he made efforts, his English was limited. I was responsible for interpreting much of the small talk. It was no easy task — especially since he liked to tell a lot of jokes.
    After being in France for a couple of years, I was at a point where I could actually “get” most French jokes. Also, I was already familiar with my boyfriend’s humor since he had explained his own jokes to me before. But something happened when I translated them for my American family. They made absolutely no sense at all. That’s how I learned that jokes are the hardest thing to translate!

    I finally told Laurent to please stop telling jokes, but poor Laurent loved to make people laugh. It was an inherent part of his personality. Despite the fact that my parents already loved him and found him quite entertaining as he was, Laurent wanted desperately to share his unique wit. I wanted to help him.

    Humor, however, is not universal. French-style humor, as I had learned, was very different from American-style humor. (Maybe that’s why I never really found my boyfriend’s jokes that funny in the first place.)

    In England, for example, constant self-deprecation is the first step to humor. By contrast, the French sense of humor is fueled by ridicule and mockery that is directed toward others. Another frequent form of French humor is to exaggerate a statement to illustrate its falsehood. If you are gullible like me, you may not clue in to the “funny” factor.

    We were in line for a baseball game. When I told my mom that Laurent said he needed to “pee the father-in-law to the mother-in-law” she widened her eyes and looked at me as if a spaceship had landed. Telling jokes in an international context is very tricky. It is not only a question of a good translation. A lot of humor depends on subtle cultural differences or on local references. In Laurent’s case, using the in-laws to point our how badly he needed to go to the bathroom was a bad choice in local reference. Although from what I understood, in Southern France it was a common and funny joke.
    When you find yourself in situation where you are asked to translate an impossible joke, the best thing to do is simply acknowledge the person is telling a funny. You may be able to relay the basic gist; “he is telling a joke about how bad he needs to go to the bathroom.”
    But unless you are prepared to give a whole lesson on the cultural underlying meaning (and lose the humor while you are at it) it’s best not to translate the joke at all.

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  2. In fact, it’s not easy to translate jokes. It’s like feeling “lost in translation”.
    Cultural differences, local references, context, and many other aspects, do play their part when it comes to translation. Sometimes, the best is to provide a similar joke in the target language.

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  3. Goldberg Brothers:

    The Goldberg Brothers - The Inventors of the Automobile Air Conditioner

    The four Goldberg brothers, Lowell, Norman, Hiram, and Max, invented and developed the first automobile air-conditioner.

    On July 17, 1946, the temperature in Detroit was 97 degrees.

    The four brothers walked into old man Henry Ford's office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that four gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.

    Henry was curious and invited them into his office.

    They refused and instead asked that he come out to the parking lot to their car. They persuaded him to get into the car, which was about 130 degrees, turned on the air conditioner, and cooled the car off immediately.

    The old man got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them $3 million for the patent. The brothers refused, saying they would settle for $2 million, but they wanted the recognition by having a label, "The Goldberg Air Conditioner", on the dashboard of each car in which it was installed.

    Now old man Ford was more than just a little anti-Semitic, and there was no way he was going to put the Goldberg's name on two million Fords. They haggled back and forth for about two hours and finally agreed on $4 million and that just their first names would be shown.

    And so to this day, all Ford air conditioners show -- Lo, Norm, Hi, and Max -- on the controls.

    ;)

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  4. Language Barrier

    Two highway workers were busy working at a construction site when a big car with diplomatic license plates pulled up.
    "Parlez-vous français?" the driver asks them. The two workers just stared.
    "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" The two continued to stare at him.
    "Fala português?" Neither worker said anything.
    "Parlate Italiano?" Still no response.
    Finally, the man drives off in disgust.
    One worker turned to the other and said, "Gee, maybe we should learn a foreign language..."
    "What for? That guy knew four of them and what good did it do him?"

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  5. DORMITORY:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    DIRTY ROOM

    PRESBYTERIAN:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    BEST IN PRAYER

    ASTRONOMER:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    MOON STARER

    DESPERATION:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    A ROPE ENDS IT

    THE EYES
    When you rearrange the letters:
    THEY SEE

    GEORGE BUSH:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    HE BUGS GORE

    THE MORSE CODE:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    HERE COME DOTS

    SLOT MACHINES:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    CASH LOST IN ME

    ANIMOSITY:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    IS NO AMITY

    ELECTION RESULTS:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    LIES - LET'S RECOUNT

    MOTHER-IN-LAW:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    WOMAN HITLER

    SNOOZE ALARMS:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S

    A DECIMAL POINT:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    IM A DOT IN PLACE

    THE EARTHQUAKES:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    THAT QUEER SHAKE

    ELEVEN PLUS TWO:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    TWELVE PLUS ONE

    PRESIDENT CLINTON OF THE USA:
    When you rearrange the letters:
    TO COPULATE HE FINDS INTERNS

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  6. The English Language

    Have you ever wondered why foreigners have trouble with the English Language?

    Let's face it
    English is a stupid language.
    There is no egg in the eggplant
    No ham in the hamburger
    And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
    English muffins were not invented in England
    French fries were not invented in France.

    We sometimes take English for granted
    But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
    Quicksand takes you down slowly
    Boxing rings are square
    And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
    If the plural of tooth is teeth
    Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
    If the teacher taught,
    Why didn't the preacher praught.

    If a vegetarian eats vegetables
    What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
    Why do people recite at a play
    Yet play at a recital?
    Park on driveways and
    Drive on parkways

    You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
    Of a language where a house can burn up as
    It burns down
    And in which you fill in a form
    By filling it out
    And a bell is only heard once it goes!

    English was invented by people, not computers
    And it reflects the creativity of the human race
    (Which of course isn't a race at all)

    That is why
    When the stars are out they are visible
    But when the lights are out they are invisible
    And why it is that when I wind up my watch
    It starts
    But when I wind up this observation,
    It ends.

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  7. - What's the best price you can offer me?
    - X dollars.
    - That much for a sheet of paper?
    - Ah, my mistake, the paper's free. It comes with the translation. The price is for putting the words on the paper.

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  8. Before Marriage:

    He: Yes! at last it was so hard to wait.
    She: Do you want me to leave?
    He: No! don't even think about it.
    She: Do you love me?
    He: Of course! over and over!
    She: Have you ever cheated on me?
    He: No! why are you even asking?
    She: Will you kiss me?
    He: Every chance I get!
    She: Will you hit me?
    He: Are you crazy? I'm not that kind of person!
    She: Can I trust you?
    He: Yes...
    She: Darling!

    After marriage...
    Now simply read from bottom to top.

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  9. The Importance of Punctuation:


    Dear John,
    I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy―will you let me be yours?
    Gloria

    Dear John,
    I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
    Yours, Gloria

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