ESL Marvels

A friend of mine send me an English-Russian joke that been migrating from email to email. I thought it was quite funny and wanted to share, while it is just a joke it has some sad truth to it. The joke is Russian specific yet its point is still reads loud and clear.

As you know people judge what you said based not on what you said but based on what they heard / understood. When you say something to a developer for whom English is a second language and see a nod you might think that you were understood, well read examples below and think again:

  • Can You hear me?.. – Ты можешь меня здесь?… Can you have me here?
  • Undressed custom model – Голая таможенная модель – Naked model in customs
  • Manicure – Деньги лечат – Money cure
  • I’m just asking – Я всего лишь король жоп – I am just ass king
  • I have been there – У меня там фасоль – I have beans there
  • God only knows – Единственный нос бога – The only nose of God
  • We are the champions – Мы шампиньоны – We are the mushrooms
  • Do you feel alright? – Ты справа всех чувствуешь – Do you feel all those on the right side?
  • Bye bye baby, baby good bye – Купи купи ребенка, ребенок хорошая покупка – Buy a baby, baby is a good buy!
  • To be or not to be – Две пчелы или не две пчелы – two bees or not two bees
  • Just in case – Только в портфеле – Only in suitcase
  • I’m going to make you mine – Я иду копать тебе шахту – I am going to dig a mine for you
  • May God be with you – Майская хорошая пчелка с тобой – My good bee is with you
  • Bad influence – Плохая простуда – A bad case of flu
  • Good products – Бог на стороне уток – God supports ducks
  • Watch out! – Посмотри снаружи! – Take a look outside
  • I know his story well – Я знаю его исторический колодец – I know about his historic well
  • Press space bar to continue – Космический бар прессы продолжает – Press issues from a cosmic bar will continue
  • Let it be! – Давайте есть пчел! – Let’s eat bees

2 thoughts on “ESL Marvels

  1. Nick,

    I recently started to read your blog and I find it very useful but this one really cheered me up :-)

    Maybe I should try the same translation scheme with English-Macedonian-English and see what I come up with.

    Best Regards,

  2. My attempts to translate it to Russian using google tools failed miserably. Best of luck with Macedonian ;) In any case i hope you find something of value here. thanks, nick

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