Friday, 5 March 2010

The Perils of Literal Translation

Being here in Kazakhstan, we really need to know some Russian and/or Kazakh to get by. Alas, aside from perusing the cafe menu and making out the Russian words for rice, coffee, tea, burger, kebab, milk, halal etc, I have very little Russian vocabulary to even attempt a decent sentence. So there's no possibility of me getting into gaffes with Malaysian-Russian lah.

This email I received this morning illustrates such a likelihood if we are not into the nuances of a foreign language. Not that I read, write or speak English-English all that well, but this Punjabi-English really cracks me up. (No offence intended to any Begums or Khans).


ACTUAL LETTER TAKEN FROM THE TIMES OF INDIA.

RESPONSE TO A 'MARRIAGE PROPOSAL ADVERTISEMENT' IN PUNJABI ENGLISH

Madam:
I am an olden young uncle living only with myself in Lahore.

Having seen your advertisement for marriage purposes, I decided to press myself on you and hope you will take me nicely.

I am a soiled son from inside Punjab. I am nice and big, six foot tall, and six inches long.
My body is filled with hardness, as because I am working hardly. I am playing hardly also.  Especially I like cricket, and I am a good batter and I am a fast baller. Whenever I come running in for balling, other batters start running. Everybody is scared of my rapid balls that bounce a lot.

I am very nice man. I am always laughing loudly at everyone. I am jolly. I am gay. Ladies, they are saying I am nice and soft. Am always giving respect to the ladies. I am always allowing ladies to get on top. That is how nice I am.
I am not having any bad habits. I am not drinking and I am not sucking tobacco or anything else. Every morning I am going to the Jim and I am pumping like anything. Daily I am pumping and pumping. If you want you can come and see how much I am pumping the dumb belles in the Jim.

I am having a lot of money in my pants and my pants is always open for you. I am such a nice man, but still I am living with myself only. What to do?
So I am taking things into my own hands everyday. That is why I am pressing myself on you, so that you will come in my house and my things into your hand.

If you are marrying me madam, I am telling you, I will be loving you very hard every day. In fact, I will stop pumping dumb belles in the Jim.
If you are not marrying me madam and not coming to me, I will press you and press you until you come. So I am placing my head between your nicely smelling feet looking up with lots of hope.

I am waiting very badly for your reply and I am stiff with anticipation.

Expecting soon.

Yours and only yours,

Choudhary Warraich, born by mother in Okara and become big in Lahore, Punjab.
_____________________________________________________

Oh my, that was a good guffaw I had.........

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA...SERIOUS KER NIH!

saya

NanaDJ said...

Hilarious!!!
She will not accept his proposal if she takes what he wrote literally, he sound like a gay pervert on top of evrything else.

Naz said...

She should accept!!!!...life-long comedy guaranteed!

OMG! I have laughed my sides sore reading this XD

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi fZeeze,

Hmmm why do I get this uneasy feelings that u r taking the mickey out of me....muahaha..must be my long lost brother lah; good on him for trying I would say.

Cheers, TGIF
Tommy

P/S - I'm a good batter & a fast baller too, never got caught behind or LBW :)))

pakmat said...

..tgif..and my word verification for this comment is 'peeked'..blogger is getting on the ball, too..cheers..

Zendra-Maria said...

Saya, from the illustrious Times Of India, no less hehe. They talk like that one kah?

Zendra-Maria said...

nanaDJ and Naz, I suppose if they are from the same area, he might be considered good husband material hahaha

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, am not sure whether ladies on the sub-continent care if prospects play cricket or not, but it's high up on his resume ;) and he got your sympathies and understanding. Wonder what Ah Soh says...

Zendra-Maria said...

pakmat, thanks for peeking... :)

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,interesting ! another mr singh story hahaaaaha. Justwansingh...will tell you more one of these days.

ubansingh.

mamasita said...

Adoi! MakDato! Run!

kaklong said...

haha that's hillarious giler mak!

Anyway mak, important news:
Yah is coming back on March 10, Wednesday because SPM results is coming out the next day, Thursday March 11. I told Yah that very likely I cant pick her up, hopefully Adin will be around n pick her up. She did suggest maybe die boleh pergi rumah Uncle Sid.

So, do u think u can make it in time for Yah's results?

Pak Zawi said...

Zendra,
Ignorance is bliss. Just imagine how horrified he would be if he were to one day understand what he wrote. He will then wish the earth will swallow him there and then.

Zendra-Maria said...

Misterr Ubans, hold the jokes until you wear turban hahaha

mamasita, takut kena press and press until you agree? kikiki!

kaklong, :)

Pak Zawi, interesting that when literally translated to Malay, the last sentence reads "dilahirkan oleh ibu di Okara dan telah membesar di Lahore, Punjab" - perfectly OK to me, no?

Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS... this guy is a riot .. lord i'm trying hard not to laugh too hard...

DrSam said...

Jolly good madam! Now I know I shouldn't take matter into my own hand...ha...ha...