Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Something Lost or Gained in Translation

A Britisher might say:  "There were 3 sleeping policeman in the road into town, a lollipop man stationed at the private school gate and a zebra crossing at the public school gate."
Translation into American:    There were 3 speed bumps, one crossing guard at the public school and a pedestrian crosswalk at the private school gate. (Yep, public schools here are actually what we think of as private schools.)

They might say: "In the children's on the first floor, left behind in the cot, was a dummy."
Translation:  The room is upstairs on our second floor, the cot is a crib and the dummy is a pacifier. (England has a ground floor, then a first floor, etc.)

They might say:  In the dark the goods train did not see the man struck, who has been identified by police only as Joe Bloggs.
Translation:  A freight train hit the unfortunate man and he is still a John Doe with no formal identification yet made.

We might say:  She wore pants and a vest to work.
They hear:  All she wore to work were her panties and an undershirt.  Now that is a casual Friday!

They might say:  He had on braces, a waistcoat, and trousers when he was out working in his garden.
Translation:  He had suspenders, a suit's vest and what we call pants on and he was working in his yard.

They might say:  The bank holiday was the day chosen for the draughts championship.
Translation:  It is a national holiday and a checkers championship.

They might say:  You are invited to a fancy dress ball.
Translation:  This is a costume ball.  Don't show up in a tux or tails unless it is part of your costume or your face will be red.

They might say:  Before the 1960's almost all women wore suspenders.  Now almost no one does.
Translation:  They wore garter belts to hold up their hose.

They might say:  He dropped his torch and fell and they had to take him to surgery and a plaster was applied to his injury.
Translation:  He dropped his flashlight, went to the doctor's office and they put on a band aid.

They might say:  We used up the rashers in a butty for lunch and with it we had jelly and fairy cakes as pudding.
Translation:  They had a bacon sandwich and jello followed by cupcakes for dessert.

They might say:  Make sure you skip that before having a kip.
Translation:  Throw it in the dumpster before going to sleep.

Now, isn't that all much clearer?

No comments:

Post a Comment