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We are the world

Sometimes I see in my search results where someone has used Google to translate a page on Blurt into another language. It is kind of neat to see how it comes out and wonder about how the cultural references work out in the mind of someone who doesn’t have a North American background.

Today I found this link in my results:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=ar&langpair=en|ar&u=https://blurts.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/getting-rich-by-selling-words/

Yes, Blurt, in Arabic…even the comments. Some of you have such wonderful Arabic grammar!

All the same, it is an odd post to wonder about in the context of another culture. One thing I’m sure of: Larry the Cable Guy is not funny in English. I don’t think he is any funnier in Arabic.

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14 Comments on “We are the world”

  1. Margie says:

    Maybe it’s funnier if his name is ‘Lahab the cable guy’?

    • omawarisan says:

      Lahab the cable guy…It might play a little better, but it is kind of just lipstick on a pig. Oh god, I said lipstick on a pig, now there is some law that I have to apologize to Sarah Palin, right? See what you made me do?

  2. Counter Culture Clown says:

    Yeah, my blog is translated into an Asian language quite frequently.

    I guess I’m big in Japan! 😉

    • omawarisan says:

      It is probably best to be big there. Hasslehoff has Germany sewed up. Jerry Lewis has France. Mainland Europe isn’t really showing much promise. Stay with Japan.

  3. Pauline says:

    Weird! But I definitely agree with you. Larry=Lame and not funny!

  4. queensgirl says:

    One of my “Words and phrases…” posts was translated into Portuguese a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty thrilling to see my words in another language.

    • omawarisan says:

      It is kind of a thrill, isn’t it? Not one I can explain, but when it happens I can’t help wondering about who they are.

      Ok, I do that for most of the bloggers I communicate with anyhow, but if you start commenting in Icelandic, I’m really going to wonder.

  5. Keli says:

    I understand I have a major following in Poland. Go figure.

    • omawarisan says:

      I don’t like to stereotype, but I think that makes a case that Polish folks clearly are a more astute audience than Germans and The French. Seriously, Hasslehoff and Lewis? Poland is making a wise choice with you.

  6. linlah says:

    I wonder how to say get-er done in aribic it might come in handy down the road.

  7. planetross says:

    When people translate things on the web it usually turns out as mumbo jumbo.
    I’m sure I’m quite reasonable in most other languages.

    • omawarisan says:

      I had a project to work on an informational brochure on domestic violence. Someone else decided to translate it to Spanish by using some software. The term battered women was translated such that it described not women who had been assaulted, but women, dipped in batter.

      Women dipped in batter were not our target audience.


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