Translation Faux Pas

Subject: Translation Faux Pas
From: Mitch Berg <mberg -at- IS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 10:08:07 -0500

Williams, Diane (contractor) wrote:
> If a man was from Berlin, he would say: Ich bin Berliner.
> If a woman was from Berlin, she would say: Ich bin Berlinerin.
> I'm not sure what "ein Berliner" means! :-/

In the sixties it meant a type of jelly roll. Someone mentioned that a
newer idiom means "condom", which I've never heard, but it makes sense
to me.

I just came across a fine object lesson in reading carefully while
translating (or doing ANY editing, for that matter). I bought a
four-piece set of bathroom hardware. It's translated into Spanish and
French on the package. The french seems to be correctly translated (not
that I know any french - why are these things never in German, Dutch or
Russian?). But the Spanish, translated, says:

10 centimeter piece set

Hey, if it's a number, convert it to metric, right?

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