I started dating my hubby on his first trip to the US. Back then his English was, well, less than perfect. I was having a painful period, and Stephan, not one to shy away from female problems, asked what was wrong. Painful uterine cramps, I explained. A while later he asked, 'How are your... udders?' FYI, laughing helps cramps! :)
The first episode of 'Wildboyz' (with Steve-O and Chris from 'Jackass') included a fake seal named Jorge. When the episode was given German subtitles for MTV Germany, this name was just too much for the translators to handle.
Now, I would left it as Jorge; it's not hard to recognize in context that it's a name. If the MTV audience really is that dense, though, a translation to 'Georg' would have been appropriate. What did the translators do? They called the thing 'Hurenhund.' Whore's Dog.
3. Dream Catchers
Dream catchers are pretty popular in Germany, but I don’t think people have the slightest clue what they’re about. I keep seeing them hanging from rearview mirrors in cars.
I was working tech support a few summers ago when we had the massive blackout and had the "pleasure" of having the following conversation with a man from New Jersey. He had power, his local cable office didn't. Since our centre is on a generator we didn't lose power and none of even knew there was a blackout at this point in time.
Me: Standard greting
Him: My cable's broken.
Me: Sorry to hear that. This is the Internet help-desk though so if you'll hold for one moment I can send you through to your local cable office and they can help you out.
Him: I already talked to them, they said it's because they don't have power. I called the police too.
Me: You called the police?
Him: Yeah to confirm that there was a power outage. They said there was.
Me: Oh, well nothing to be done then. I'm afraid you'll be out of service until power is restored.
Him: Well, that's unacceptable. I want this fixed now.
And so it began. We basically went in circles for a good ten minutes. Him telling me that he wanted me to fix it, me explaining that a) I'm the INTERNET help-desk, I have nothing to do with cable service and b) nothing can be fixed until his local office (Bergen, NJ) has power again. By this time it's past time for me to have left and I'm more than a little frustrated and bitchy (generator power means no air conditioning and it's August). So I decide to change tactics and appeal to his sense of logic.
Him: I'm telling you, I want this fixed NOW.
Me: Sir, I'm sorry, but this is something that has to be fixed by the power company.
Him: (Snotty tone)I know that.
Me: And you know that I don't work for the power company, correct?
Me: So you realize that I can't fix power lines?
Him: Yes I realize that. I'm saying that I want you to fix this.
Me: You want me to fix the power?
Him: (completely exasperated by this point) YES!
Me: *headdesk* followed by quickly disconnecting the call. I just couldn't bring myself to continue.
Someone actually wrote this during a discussion I was having on a different community.
"So, very shortly, laws will be passed that make being a criminal illegal."
"HEY Look, they have another Spider-Man movie coming out!" - Said person was pointing at a SUPERMAN Returns movie, which yes - Has Superman on it, and has 'Superman returns' written on it.
'Wow, Guess Christopher Reeve has gotten better' - yes, about the same poster.
And at work the other day:
Ijit: "Why can't you let my kid have a piece of dough?"
Me: "It's raw, and it's against the health codes."
Ijit: "Go on honey, reach in and grab a nibble."
Me: OH NO YOU DON'T BITCH! "Ma'am, Dough will make your child sick, and if your child touches the dough, we'll have to toss the entire batch."
Ijit: "Oh my son eats cookie dough all the time."
Me: Uhhhh, I was using that dough to roll Pretzels, and you were watching me. "Ma'am, this is Pretzel dough." Which does not magically turn into cookie dough at your whim.
Ijit: "EW! That's nasty, com'on honey, let's go to OJ with the nice people."
(Honey is her kid, doubt it's the kid's name)
I work for a natural gas distribution utility up here in Canada. A big one. That's all you need to know, really.
First week on the job, I get this...
*beep (call starts)*
Me: Hi, this is Jordan, how can I help you?
Customer(cx): Is this (company name) gas?
Me: Yes, you've reached (company name) Gas Distribution, how can I help you?
Cx: I'm having a problem, I can't get channels 13, or 15... they're all static-y
Me: (taken aback, obviously) Uhh..well, ma'am, you know you've reached the gas company, and we don't deal with the cable
Cx: Well, who does?
Me: You'd have to contact your local cable company.
Cx: Well, I thought that's who I was talking to.
Me: Ma'am, you're tv is not 'powered' by natural gas, nor are your channels.
Cx: Well, what DO you do?
Me: We are responsable for getting gas to your gas meter, and where it goes from there, be it furnace, water heater, fireplace, or something like that, is up to you. But it only provides heat.
At that point, it was like I helped her have an epiphane, or something. Hoooooooly crap. Pretty entertaining for my first week, though.
Just a quickie.
My mom just started playing The Sims. We were talking about it and she confessed to me that she had problems playing the game. Why? Because she couldn't understand what they were saying.*
*For those of you who don't play, the characters in the game speak Simmish, a completely made up language.
I went to Nando's today with a friend. After looking at various napkins with "NanDO be Portugese [reason]" and "NanDON'T be British [Same principle]. My mate and I had the following conversation:
Mate: Wouldn't it be class if they had a dancefloor with authentic spanish dancers in the middle? Doing the Tango [air plays castanets]
Me: ... ok? You do realise that people doing the Tango don't play castanets?
Mate: No? Oh well. Still this is a proper authentic Mexican restaurant, hey?
Me: No, it's Portugese.
Mate: Nah, proper Mexican!
Me: [Proving it with napkins and the menu] Look, Portugese!
Later in the day, trying to prove a point, I ask my other mate via MSN who's a Nando's regular what nationality it is.
Me: I'm pissing myself laughing here but; What nationality is Nando's?
Mate 2: Italian, everybody knows that!
Me: You taking the piss?
Mate 2: No :s
Pop goes my posting virginity!
This happened a little bit ago in my keyboarding class.
Girl: "Is Paris in London?"
Class & Teacher: "...."
Thankfully the teacher calmly explained to her that no, Paris was not indeed in London.
I was waiting in the theater lobby over by the video games today. Every machine mentions the use of using game tokens. It's all over the place, and there's even a machine that exchanges dollars, credit, etc for them nearby.
I see a guy walking away from one game, slightly annoyed.
"It won't take my quarters!"
A couple weeks ago I was on a Boeing 737 airplane, flown by Delta, reading the little safety-information card. It was done completely in little illustrations, preseumably so the average (illiterate) person could comprehend it. One set of illustrations (translated into actual words) went something like this:
In case of a crash on land: When exiting the plane, remove high-heeled shoes. Do not bring luggage or personal items. Do not exit if you see fire, water, or wreckage outside the plane.
In case of a crash in water: When exiting the plane, remove all shoes. Do not bring luggage or personal items. Do not exit if you see fire, water, or wreckage outside the plane.
...Guess there's no hurry to get those shoes off...
Two from today...
I was eating my lunch outside, downtown, and saw the girl next to me eating as well. She finished her sandwich and picked up her bottle of diet coke. She looked at it, turned it upside-down and then shook it for about 15 seconds. Then, without waiting, she opened it. It exploded. And she looked so confused. Welcome to the world of carbonation!
Two, I was at the mall and right now, in the center, they have a small exhibition of various reptiles, mainly as a distraction for the children who are dragged shopping by mom. A child, who couldn't have been younger than 9, I would have said 1o, ran up to a cage, pointing and looking very excited...he yelled out "Mom! Come quick! This snake has eyes! So cool! MOM! Look! This snake has eyes!
Hmmm...snakes with eyes. I betcha that's the next big thing...