Thursday, July 4, 2013

English, the Long-Suffering Language

A restaurant for people, or for fish?
As English has become the world's language, it's suffered at the hands of non-speakers who believe it's cool to use English - even when they don't know how to.

A few examples I've seen around Bogotá.

The barber ghetto shop is in Teusaquillo, which is no ghetto.

This band wears bibs!

This is supposed to mean something.
A light kiosk - as opposed to a full-calorie kiosk?

Does Independence Park also have a Kiosk Heavy?

Almost got it!
Just in case you missed it the first time.
You'd think that the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum) could pawn a few nuggets and buy an English grammar book.

Can you understand?
'American School Way'. It'd be good enough - if they weren't supposed to be TEACHING English.
And a classic from the city of Cali.

A medal from the 2013 World Games in Cali left out a critical 'L', giving the competition a whole new meaning. 
This restaurant in La Candelaria managed to spell 'coffee' incorrectly twice - and in two different ways. 
'Specialists in Frecuency Brain.' Sounds impressive, unless you know something about biology, psychology or English. 
Another victim of Google Translate.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


mauricio forero l said...

Thes is so funy, realy realy funy...Hay Miguel, como eres de malo!!

Miguel said...

Yes, it's funny. But before we feel superior, look at how I misspelled the word 'english' in the title. And how english speakers have mauled other languages, particularly French while trying to appear sophisticated.


Stuart Oswald said...

I noticed the subject typo too.

Amanda said...

haha this is so true and I've noticed very similar things. I saw a shop the other day called "Coffe Good"

Jc Acadwrit said...
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JC's Thoughts said...
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JC's Thoughts said...

It's not only in Bogotá. You can see this kind of "fantasy-land" English used all over the country. I guess it's really sad that Colombians think naming a business in pseudo-English is better than a good old Spanish name. Another thing that really gets on my nerves is the poorly translated signs you always see in public places and tourist attractions. Whenever I see those signs I can't help feeling ashamed for our country. Why couldn't they just hire a translator instead of trying to show off their limited English proficiency? As a teacher and a translator myself, I've always wondered about this kind of dumb behavior.

Miguel said...

It's not even a matter of hiring a translator, but just asking some native speaker, who can tell the difference between 'fish food' and 'seafood.'


Robert Davies said...

I love this kind of stuff - it makes me smile around Bucaramanga when I see garbled English on the signs. Loads of people here wear T-Shirts with stuff written in English, but when I ask them, they have no clue what it means, so I guess it must be cool.

BTW - "Can you understand photo" = Bob Marley's Sun is Shining lyrics - an excellent song but not great for English grammar learners!

Miguel said...

I've seen some people, particularly young women, wearing shirts with suggestive phrases which they'd probably feel pretty embarrased about if they actually understood them.


inenglishinstitute said...

wel i love gringos saying aruepa instead of arepa,,,its so funny or dressing their alpargatas