Monday, September 3, 2007

The difficulties of translating coarse Australian into Japanese

The Guardian reports a number of translational problems.

This one is a beaut.

...The former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke left his Japanese audience bewildered when he used the Australian colloquial phrase "I am not here to play funny buggers" to dismiss a pesky question from Japanese officials.

"For Japanese interpreters, however, this was a real problem. They went into a huddle to consult on the best way to render 'funny buggers' into Japanese," writes (Richard) Woolcott. The interpreters then told the audience: "I am not here to play laughing homosexuals with you."

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