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Lost In Translation: Misadventures in English Abroad [Paperback]

Charlie Croker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: 4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2007
In today's world no self-respecting English-language enthusiast could have failed to notice the frequent and flagrant abuse of our native tongue by pesky foreigners? (Forgetting, for a moment, the fact that many nations speak our language better than we do.) Lost in Translation features hundreds of genuine, original and utterly ridiculous examples of the misadventures in English discovered all over the world by the author and his intrepid team of researchers. Everything from hotel signs to baffling advertisements, such as the German beauty product offering a 'Cream shower for pretentious skin' or the Japanese bar that boasts 'Special cocktails for ladies with nuts', or the French warning at a swimming pool - 'Swimming is forbidden in the absence of the saviour.' Published in paperback for the first time this autumn, Lost in Translation demonstrates how widely the English language has travelled, though unfortunately some of it seems to have got a bit scrambled en route.

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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: 12.6 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing start, but gets lost in itself... 17 Sep 2009
By b4-its-2-l8 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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
5.0 out of 5 stars extremely funny 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ray of sunshine 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Veyr funny 25 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I laughed so hard, I thought I'll get a hernia. Funny to adults and chidren alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hilarious 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
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I only skimmed the book as I sent it as a present to an English specialist! The result was most favourable.
Published 2 months ago by Margaret Adnitt
2.0 out of 5 stars Does not live up to its potential
I bought this book because I was looking for something entertaining and not too thought provoking for my flight to Berlin. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY FUNNY+++
I bought this for myself ! If I was a bit tired over Christmas -2 minutes with this book had me almost choking with laughter-TRY IT!A+++++
Published 6 months ago by peepo
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tonic for the Blues !
I have bought several copies of this book as gifts as it always makes me smile and chuckle no matter what problems the day may bring. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ariadne
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great spirit-lifter which made me laugh out loud many times. Makes you appreciate the intricacies of the English language!
Published 7 months ago by Alison Ravnkilde
5.0 out of 5 stars Soooo hilariously funny
I bought this for my mum for a xmas present after she had read a taster in a daily newpaper. She still reads it now, most nights and it makes her laugh out loud. A hilarious read
Published 10 months ago by Kim Rozelle Muir
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and entertaining.
A really good laugh, every page a winner. I would recommend this as any anytime read, and always making you laugh.
Published 15 months ago by Jan Delia Boulting
5.0 out of 5 stars LOst In Translation
I bought this book for a friend of mine for her birthday.
She tells me that she she really enjoyed reading this book.
Published 16 months ago by Beryl
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation - sent as a gift
My present arrived earlier in the week and is now in the toilet - high praise for any reading material, as only the best stuff is saved for the most contemplative of reading... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Gerald Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Gave as a gift
I gave this as a gift so i cannot really say how good it was however i read a few pages i thought it was a good gift for someone
Published 17 months ago by winona
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