Best Release Practices and the word "fortnight"

Luis luis at
Thu Feb 18 17:54:19 EST 2010

And further along the translation highway...

I was reading the list of ingredients on an English bottle of ketchup we 
had bought in Spain (oh the profanity!) translating as I went along into 
Spanish. I got to 'preservatives' and read it out as 'preservativos', 
which is the official word for a 'rubber' (in the prophylactic sense) in 
They didn't want any on their chips.

I also heard of this one:
In a restaurant in Portugal they had Goose Barnacles on the menu.
In Spanish, and it appears in Portuguese also, they are called 'Percebes'.
Now, the proprietor wisely consulted a Portuguese to English dictionary 
to offer these delicacies to a wider audience. Unfortunately (maybe it 
was  a concise dictionary) the other meaning for 'percebes' in 
Portuguese is 'understanding', which he didn't. So they were offering 
'understandings' on the menu.

It's a weird, wonderful world.



Richmond Mathewson wrote:
> On 18/02/2010 21:21, Lynn Fredricks wrote:
>>>> I similarly use acres, furlongs and guinees. I absolutely REFUSE to
>>>> work in metric weights and distances which remain completely
>>>> meaningless to me. I also use the word 'twelvemonth' from time to
>>>> time, as in "I haven't seen him in a twelvemonth".
>> I think that's just fine for normal communication, but this should be 
>> food
>> for thought about servicing international markets. Even if the receiving
>> party knows what these things are, it communicates something else the the
>> receiver that you might use local vocabulary or colloquialisms for 
>> official
>> communication.
>> Back before I became a souless business person, I taught some high 
>> school.
>> There was a British story that referred to rubber boots as "rubbers"
>> repeatedly. That's not something you can trot out in a high school class
>> without expecting disruption ;-)
> Hey-Ho, divided by a common language!  I think you will find that
> "rubbers" refers in that context to GALOSHES.
> Of course, down in my school, where I teach Primary children, they use
> rubbers all the time . . . but then, unlike standard Bulgarian school
> practice, I insist that the children use pencils so that they can correct
> their mistakes with rubbers rather than leave great, ugly, scrawlings-out
> in their exercise books.
> Possibly, some of us on the use-list are sufficiently old enough to 
> remember
> an album by the Beatles called "Rubber Soul" - presumably that is what you
> are referring to your having lost . . .  :)  It is available on CD:
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> And there, surely, lies the fundamental difference between British rubbers
> and North American rubbers:
> the former are used to correct mistakes,
> the latter to prevent them.
> What is, arguably the funniest thing of all is that the literal 
> translation of the
> Bulgarian word for what North Americans call 'rubbers' is 'preservative' 
> . . .
> and I always thought that was something you put in jam!
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