[ExI] Translating language idioms is dificult

Tara Maya tara at taramayastales.com
Thu Jun 11 13:38:01 UTC 2015

But sadly, the part about “We will punish you for having a harmless hobby” — which, after all is the real scandal — is NOT an error in translation.

Tara Maya
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> On Jun 11, 2015, at 3:11 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> Much excitement was generated in the news, TV and web by the recent
> pigeon genitalia drama.
> It now appears that an Arabic idiom in a document was translated as
> “revealing the genitals”. No reference was made as to whose genitals
> were revealed. It seems that the Daily Mail writers seized the
> opportunity to have fun and mock the Muslim document.
> In Arabic, the idiom is used to mean misbehaviour or dishonourable conduct.
> Snopes has a full explanation.
> <http://m.snopes.com/2015/06/10/isis-bans-pigeon-genitals/>
> This is similar to UK people describing something as "the bees knees"
> or "the dogs bollocks".
> No reference is intended to insect leg hinge joints or male dog genitalia.
> <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bee%27s+Knees>
> <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=the%20dogs%20bollocks>
> An American might use the phrase "behind the eight ball" and get
> confused looks from non-Americans.
> Language translation really needs to avoid idioms to be understood.
> Using basic English with a limited vocabulary makes life easier. (Like
> Voice of America's Special English).
> BillK
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