Over the years, Pascal's English has really improved and my French isn't too shabby either. We don't get tripped up very often on foreign vocabulary words and translations, but the other night Pascal yelled from the living room where he was watching Throw Mama From the Train: "Charlene - what’s a Mallomar?" I explained, and he went back to laughing at Danny De Vito and Anne Ramsey. He loves that part where Danny clobbers Billy Crystal with a cast iron frying pan. It got me thinking about the funny mistranslations we've laughed at over the years (our own and those of others). One of my all-time favorites is from the Russian singers who sang phonetically on the cruise ship where I worked. They interpreted Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" lyrics as: "I should have changed my stupid lock; I should have made you brush your teeth". Here are a few more silly ones:
- In a Parisian hotel lobby: Please leave your values at the front desk.
- In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.
- On the menu of a Belgian restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.
- Outside a Moroccan tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
- In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.
- Advertisement for donkey rides in Greece: Would you like to ride on your own ass?