Sunday, 27 November 2011

A story by my grandfather

My grandfather is a great story teller, mostly because he's had a pretty interesting life, and he's had a good memory to remember some great stories. Whilst searching for some Doris Day songs (from the film Glass Bottom Boat), I remembered that there's a particular tale of mistranslation that he told me once. I decided to google the expression, and lo and behold, I found his story in an Armenian forum! It seems to be told by someone from Portugal, so I wonder if the tale has simply just travelled...

For all of you:

When TV didn't exist yet, in the glorious age of radio, it happens that a certain lady - let's call her Mrs. E. - worked in a private radio station. She had quite a pleasant voice and a very good diction so she had a lot of fans. Mrs. E. didn't speak a word of any foreign language.

One day she was presenting a songs program. So while a song was playing, she picked a good english-portuguese dictionary that was handy, and started translating word by word the title of the following one: "My love, come back to me". After a hard work she wrote down her final translation, a work of art.

When the playing song finished, while putting the new record on the dish, she announced the title (her translation) of the next one: "Amor, salta para as minhas costas!"

Do you know what that means in english? "Love, jump on my back!"

It took quite a while for Mrs. E. to recover from such a gaffe. And needless to say that she never translated any other title... - Blog

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