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Lost In Translation: Misadventures in English Abroad Paperback – 1 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (1 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843172720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843172727
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Too funny for public transport' Sunday Times travel magazine"

From the Publisher

In A Japanese hire care:
When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn

In A Yugoslavian hotel room:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid

On a Japanese teabag:
Do not wet with water

On a French menu:
An extract of fowl, peached or sunside up

On A Chinese candle:
Keep this candle out of children

In a Norwegian bar:
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By b4-its-2-l8 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book popped up in my Amazon recommended list so I scanned the search inside pages and thought some of the lines were amusing but I decided to skip buying it thinking it to be a "let's slag off Jonnie Foreigner's poor English" type book but later I received it as a gift so I got it after all!

My preconceptions about this book seemed to be allayed initially as there plenty of quips to smile about, which I'm sure many others will find too, but in contrast to other reviewers, I found the laugh-out-loud quotes were quite few and far between.

I would have rated this book more highly if it remained as a collection of notices *in the public domain* in which hapless translators amusingly fall foul of the nuances of English, e.g. hotel notice: "If you cannot reach a fire exit, close the door and expose yourself at the window."

But instead, the latter pages descend into mocking individual's attempts *in the private domain* to communicate in English, e.g. a whole series of texts from an Italian boyfriend to his English girlfriend. Why the heck have they been printed! I'm pretty sure most of us have messed up those sorts of messages from time to time too, but they're meant to be private anyway.

I read the book from cover to cover which in hindsight may have been a bad thing as I agree with the reviewer who says the quotes tend to blur into one another after a while; it becomes tedious reading virtually the same notice from one hotel repeated in another. Also, as none of the quotes are referenced it does raise suspicions of whether all are even genuine...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful collection, gently poking fun at translations of English sentences which, whilst almost/technically accurate, completely ruin the meaning. You probably either enjoy this sort of humour or you don't. While some might see it as an arrogant and unfunny attempt to poke fun at people from other countries (whose language we couldn't even begin to speak), I completely disgaree. The introduction reminds us of the attitude we should take: we can have a giggle at the mistranslations of others whilst remaining humble of our own language abilities. Life's very short, and what's the point if you can't have a chuckle on the way? Oh yes, and have other reviewers have warned, do not read on public transport!!
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Pushpendra Rishi on 2 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Was browsing in a bookshop and came across this book. After about 10 seconds i started getting some strange looks. Most people avoided me...

I was laughing like a mad man - this book is funny!

Only one woman plucked up the courage to ask me what i was laughing at. I showed her the book and she bought one then and there.

If you are looking for a present get this book, but I recommend you buy this book for yourself too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Taylor on 17 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a dangerous thing a foreign dictionary can be.
I really enjoyed this little compendium of well-meant but accidentally mangled mistranslations. From the extracts of Gerard Hoffnung's quotes from the brochures of German landladies, as fresh today as they were fifty years ago, to contemporary public information signs, frequently beautifully illusteated, this is a feast of unconscious humour for the casual browser with a few minutes to spare. Like others, I found it hard to stop myself from reading through the series of contributions in search of the next hilarious entry, but you will get the best out of "Lost in Translation" if you can take it as a series of snacks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hammysg1 on 6 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Every household should own this book. If you've had a bad day at work, if the washing machine's packed up, if the kids are screaming and everything's going wrong - just 5 minutes of reading this and I guarantee that you will be crying with laughter. So much fun can be had by innocent mistranslations that lead to such gems as "please leave your values at the front desk" and "customers will be executed in strict rotation", along with others that are so bizarre you are left perpetually wondering what on earth they were trying to say, such as "please leave your watermelons at the reception desk". Truely a wonderful book that will never lose it's charm, roll on volume 2!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jillintenerife on 12 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lost In Translation: Misadventures in English Abroad

Quite an amusement but once read not the kind of book you are likely to pick up and read again ... did remind me of a previous trip to the Algarve whilst browsing in a shoe shop and the sales assistant told me I was "welcome to shower!" - perfect waiting room material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By in_the_picture on 30 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is funny - very funny. A collection of observations will be much appreciated by international travellers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I was looking for something entertaining and not too thought provoking for my flight to Berlin. It's a series of quotes the author came across during his travels abroad where the English is used incorrectly. This can lead to some strange sounding sentences. And while there were a few funny quotes here and there, for the most part this book just gets tiresome after awhile. Many of them aren't even that funny. Plus, how can you make a whole book out of this? I was actually expecting the author to make some comments on the misuse of the English language or at least tell us something and give some meaning to this book, but it really is just a series of quotes. I got rid of it because it wasn't worth holding on to. Don't waste your money.
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