Friday, January 23, 2009

no communication disorders here, no way

Here's an excerpt from an article about unusual service performed by LDS missionaries serving in Taichung, Taiwan.

Once a less-than-accurate English sign is noted, the missionaries report its location to President Hoer. He then forwards the information to the mayor’s office, along with a suggestion for a more understandable translation.

One recent example: English warning signs at a baseball field declared “Game that attention to flying out-of-bounds.” The missionaries translated the English to read “Pay attention to foul balls.”

Another: On the grounds of a Confucian temple a sign read “Please keep orderliness solemnly silent.” The modification turned in by the missionaries is “Please be silent and respectful.”

(Go here for the full story.)

Sometimes I want to throttle the necks of those Tower of Babel-ites, but you have to admit the language barrier--and attempts to break it--are pretty dang funny sometimes. My family still teases me about the "I love you Susy!" Guatemalan boy and we still joke about Janel's advanced communication of "One momo" with her 2nd grade hispanic friend. Kim and I realized again how little we know - and how naive we are! - when we were traveling over to Jerusalem and we didn't even know what language they were speaking on the plane - and were too embarrassed to ask the guy next to us what language he was speaking! How embrssing. Apparently we're not the only ones though. "Good morning Obama" was the greeting we got from a few shopkeepers the other day as we walked through Jerusalem. Ha!


Danielle said...

Ha!!! I still laugh about a flier for a Chinese restaurant that said, "We delivery!" And of course "one momo" forever! You are so funny.

Becca said...

well, how did obama respond?

L. said...

How about the sign on Mt. Tabor (Mt. of Transfiguration), "Quiet. This is a Holly Place!"