Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thanks for your warm hostility

Welcme er...Welcome to Syrain er...Syrian Arab Republic!

We just returned from traveling in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and we're still laughing at the incredibly funny English we enjoyed all over in these three countries on signs, menus, newspapers.  Yesterday, approaching the border between Syria and Jordan a huge sign says " Clow down". After a few weeks of the Syenglish, you get these things almost immediately because your brain has been conditioned to solve the puzzles. "Grilled chicken chest" was a regular on menus as was various renditions of coleslaw, the big prize winner going to "coolslow", which sort of makes sense. Homeless chicken breast (boneless chicken breast) was another favorite. Grilled beef with "aborigine" (instead of aubergine or eggplant) was intriguing. The world-wide menu favorite, "fried crap" was on several menus but with a label pasted over with the correction. This must be the one misspelling that even the Syrians have come to recognize.

Funniest of all was a sign in a bad hotel that stated "Thanks for your warm hostility!"

Even after a couple of weeks, I still could not translate or decipher a single bit of Arabic so our laughter at their English is done with due humility. If the tables were turned, I can't imagine the kind of mistakes we'd be making. 

1 comment:

  1. Once again, I'm laughing 'til I'm crying. So glad you're home. Can't wait to get together and hear all about it.