Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lost in Translation: Overcoming the Language Barrier

English is an extremely confusing language. Even those of us who speak it as a first language would likely agree with that statement. All that slang, confusing syntax, double meanings, those odd verb placements, grammatical oddities, words that aren't spelled anything like they sound, contradictory rules... The list is endless. But if English isn't your first language, the learning curve can be quite challenging. Language expert Oliver Radtke, who has done his fair share of world traveling, offers us Chinglish and More Chinglish, two hilarious books detailing the misuses and misunderstandings that crop up when directly translating Chinese into English. Sometimes gross, sometimes mildly offensive, sometimes filled with hilarious and unintentional double meaning, sometimes just plain bizarre, these bloopers will have you laughing out loud. Literally. But these books also serve as reminders that correctly mastering (or even slightly grasping) ANY new language isn't nearly as easy as it might seem. --AJB 

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