Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lost In Translation

Pestilence. War. Famine. Death.

These ancient horrors pale before --

Foreign language citations either in-text or in end-/footnotes that are left untranslated for us mono-and-a-half linguists!

The other day, Sherry whipped up a post reviewing the new book by noted Biblical scholar and sometime teevee talking head Bart Ehrman, and this got me thinking of stuff that I enjoy reading, which is, like the Prankster's Bible itself and the characters within -- and some are quite the character. Oh, Yahweh, you little narcissist scamp with all your incessant smiting -- generally old.


Oh no, not you, big cheesy. Did I say Yahweh? I meant Methuselah.

I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah so long ago.

No, don't be silly! You're quite the spry deity. In fact, you're a spring chicken.

That's just what every imaginary sky fairy longs to hear.

Relax. I know what the problem is. Gents?

Betcha feel better now, huh.

See, big guy, it'll be alright. Look at that youthful mane. You'll be chatting up the cheerleaders in no time. No last temptation for you, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Now that I've dazzled you with purty pictures, here's a bunch of whiny, boring words giving you the chance to escape to sexier pastures. And you people think I'm as cold and heartless as Yahweh.

Specialist texts are the worst for obvious and completely expected reasons, but there are a few kind souls (thank you, Ashgate) that usually translate or at least summarize these bits and pieces. French I can manage, as long as I have mon dictionnaire that's wearing its taped-up-Rocky treatment surprisingly well after years of abuse. It's a miracle!

Latin? The faintest whiff of eons-ago semesters, the Wheelock and dictionary on the shelf, and my increasingly ineffectual noodle make a four-course meal low in sodium and high on migraines. Lucky for me that the English language is one of the world's most accomplished kleptomaniacs, rivaling Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger and Dick Cheney.

The only German I know outside of 101 phrases (guten tag, danke, auf wiedersehen, achtung, schnell, Heil Hitler) is this list of likely incorrect sentences leftover from high school: Wo ist meine brieftasche? Ingo ist mein Freund. Ich gehe in die Stadt. Good times watching those theoretically educational 1960s black and white shorts. The first of the three was uttered by a penguin in the lobby of a sparse, noirish hotel towards a quite dapper clerk played by an actor who was obviously high or rivalled Sean Penn's masterful take on Jeff Spicoli. And you thought Deutschland lost its sense of humor while rebelling against The Man with that whole awkward Nazi phase.

Don't even get me started on fucking Arabic. Since Hussein X, Stringy Puppet of the impending Caliphate, is a fluent speaker, I'd give him a call, but he's real busy doing exactly what an American Pretzeldent, regardless of party, is supposed to do. You know, racking up our deepest regrets during The Global War on the Communist Islamic Threat of the Month and sticking it to everyone not currently running a bank or strapping electrodes to a prisoner's nutsack for the fun of just following imperial orders, all while filling the airwaves with nougat goodness.

Let's compare past candy bars, shall we?

Reagan's chewy center: Latin American death squads, Brylcreem and what's a treason?
Bush the Smarter's whipped goo: vomit, video wargaming and Uncle Clarence.
Bubba's caramel goodness: pasty sexcapades, let's let Rupert own everything and gays? ewww!
Chimpy's peanuts: bathtub social engineering, fields of corpses decomposing in the sun and oops! I lost all the money!
At least those jokers made up for such unhealthy ingredients by being near inexhaustible reservoirs of comedy. I can't say the same for our current overlord and, frankly, that's what really galls my bladder.

Stupid Pretzeldent. Be more funny!

Oh, what the hell. Here's a pic of Scarlett Johansson from that flick. No, not the German one. I don't want to be accused of false advertising.

Almost makes me wanna take up smoking.


Distributorcap said...

and i was expecting a post about the Penguins/Red Wings - and all i got was some stuff about Candy Bars and German..

Bubs said...

Ich habe meine zug verpassen.

Aber ich danke Ihnen für die kostenlose Scarlett Johansson.

Suzan said...

Not us, sweetie.

We know what to expect here.

Thanks for the laughs (and the cold, hard truth).


And you people think I'm as cold and heartless as Yahweh.

. . . a four-course meal low in sodium and high on migraines

. . . racking up our deepest regrets during The Global War on the Communist Islamic Threat of the Month and sticking it to everyone not currently running a bank or strapping electrodes to a prisoner's nutsack for the fun of just following imperial orders, all while filling the airwaves with nougat goodness.

Not as good as yours though.

afeatheradrift said...

Thaks for the link, and I'm still pissed at the game. That second goal was a freaking gift. I can skate backwards and wave a stick. the gutless wonder never bothered to throw his sorry carcass in front of the puck runner and hope for the best, no just let the dude take his shot. What crap. Penquins deserved it. Cracking up about the dude who switched teams to win a Cup...let him drink champaign from the one he wares. I'm disgusted!

And whatever about german and latin. I hate when they throw greek at me and assume I know the translation. Yech...was that what this was about?

sunshine said...

I volunteer at my kids school on Monday mornings. I was walking out a few weeks ago and noticed in the corner of the office THAT picture of Jesus.. the one with the eye wink. I thought.."What the hell is a catholic school doing with that picture?" Don't get me wrong. It's hilarious but still...

My parents lived in Germany for a few years. My oldest sister actually born there. My Mum still knows quite a bit but unless it's in a Wayne Newton song, I'm clueless.
French, well, I took that for many, many years. (we start in grade one here, Catholic schools at least). Do I remember much? Nope.
Scarlett married Ryan Reynolds .. a nice CANADIAN boy. :)
Tee Hee ...

Liberality said...

Lucky for me that the English language is one of the world's most accomplished kleptomaniacs

yeah, at least there's one good thing about it anyway :)

Randal Graves said...

dcap, is not Germany the land of chocolate?

bubs, wegen Babelfish verstand ich, was Sie sagten. Jeder liebt Scarlett.

suzan, thanks, but it's only because we're stupid. If we weren't, we'd all be so happy, there'd be nothing to talk about but happy things, and how boring would that be?

sherry, I was shocked myself to see such an uncontested breakaway at even strength. Honestly, Detroit simply ran out of gas. I still think they're better top to bottom, but Malkin and Crosby are crazy good.

Of course, accurate predictions are all Greek to me.

sunshine, it is hilarious. Sure beats the über-solemn crap that's usually on walls. I had to see that for 13 years.

Parlez-vous français? Down with Canadian thieves! I coulda had a shot man, I coulda been a contenda.

liberality, I'm quite familiar with all those big words being useful in covering up my stupidity. ;-)

Beach Bum said...

Relax, that clearly slimy Mitt Romney and trailer trash Sarah Palin is waiting in the wings, both so full of unhealthy ingredients that they almost cause cancer on first sight.

As for Bush the Smarter, he had to chose Clarence after picking Souter.

Ut pro Latin I've usquequaque admiratio quis ancient Romanorum said eligo sursum pullus?

Christopher said...

I saw this program the other night on cable TV. Maybe it was Discovery or Nat Geo. In any event, it was about angels.

They said in the Christian Bible only mentions three angels by name. But, along about 600AD, angels began to populate Christianity like supermodels during fashion week.

I honestly don't remember hearing about angels in Catechism class. I heard lots and lots about the saints, and of course, the Blessed Virgin (no, not Miley Cyrus.)

Even though I'm a fallen Catholic -- I got out with my sanity intact, I must admit I always liked the saints. The Pope, not so much and the current Pope I'd like to kick in the ass. But the saints are cool.

Randal Graves said...

BB, Mitt and Mooselini. And we thought peanut M&Ms were nutty.

You know, the Latin translator I found isn't as good as Babelfish: "When for Latin I've always wonder anyone maidservant Roman said to pick out upwards young?"

christopher, outside of Michael and Gabriel, I don't recall hearing much about angels or myself back in the days of RC and they certainly never mentioned the works of Pseudo-Dionysius. But like you, there were saints aplenty. Every week had about 752 feast days.

If Miley Cyrus is a virgin, then Karl Rove ain't closeted.

Border Explorer said...

Did you crop Sarah Palin right out of the photo of her and Jesus? Way to go. (By the way, I think Jesus has the same makeup artist as Sarah.)

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

I have not thought about the host of angels since, well, whatever it was that we Protestant High Church goers called those silly classes before we had our first communion.

And we had to memorize that stuff:
cherubim, seraphim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, angels

I never figured out which were union and which were management. But I never saw pictures of the little guys not working, so I figure that they were the working stiffs of the angelic class.



Beach Bum said...

I really screwed that one up. I guess if I ever build a time machine and travel back to ancient Rome it will be hard for me to pick up chicks.

susan said...

Karen Armstrong's 'History of God' is an excellent treatise on the histories of the three great monotheistic religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For all most modern Christians know about the Koran, the Bible and the Torah they may just as well have been written in hieroglyphs.

I think the fact Hussein X isn't funny may be the scariest thing of all.

Nunly said...

If all else fails, just say "Ich bin ein Berliner," it worked for Kennedy...and the jelly donut shops.

Dr. Zaius said...

What are you on about? You were almost making sense at the penguin part... Then I go completely lost. Did you dye your beard or something?

Übermilf said...

I'm back! Did you miss me?

okjimm said...

OK. "Lost in Translation" I just wanna get this straight.... is that Translation, IA or Translation, ND? Or is it, like a foreign country, ya know, see, like Trannsylvannia or the Transvaal.... cause if you are really lost I will send the dogs out looking for you..... can you be more specific on where you are lost? Gimme a zip code or postal code or time zone or sumptin.

Just Trying to Help
Somewhere, WI.

La Belette Rouge said...

"No last temptation for you". I love the personal relationship you have with your personal lord and savior. Of course, you know I was talking about Scarlett Johanson.

My German vocab is limited to: Id, schadenfreude and knakwurst. Go on, I dare you to make a sentence out of those three words.;-)

S.W. anderson said...

I'll say one thing, Randal: Scarlett is smokin'!

Randal Graves said...

BE, you betcha, doggone it!

tengrain, all the bigwigs were off on swanky cosmic NRO cruises with the eternal Pantload zygote soul, scarfing down caviar.

BB, just memorize a few stock phrases, practice winking and looking comfortably lost and the pity angle is all yours. It's bound to work! Or you'll get shipped off to the Pannonian front to die at the hand of barbarians.

susan, torah was that flick about Pearl Harbor, right?

nunly, Ich bin ein Springfield swap meet patron!

dr. zaius, perish the thought! Those stray greys are distinguished. Sean Connery was grey and bald and got Catherine Zeta Jones. I've no worries!

übermilf, hell no. (Of course I did, but don't tell übermilf.)

okjimm, too bad they didn't name the movie Lost in Truth Or Consequences, because I know exactly where that's at.

LBR, When Gunter, trying to stuff his face with knakwurst, dropped his id in the sauerkraut, I succumbed to schadenfreude and laughed uncontrollably. ;-)

SWA, and the sky is blue. ;-)

Dr. Zaius said...

Sean Connery has money, and he was also James Bond. You speak French. You were saying? ;o)

Randal Graves said...

Yeah, was. Maintenant, il est le grand-père. ;-)

Dr. Zaius said...

And you speak French. You were saying? ;o)