Hot dogs and… oh

I love mistranslated English. Not in a ‘oh, aren’t foreigners funny not being able to speak our complicated language’ way (okay, maybe a little bit), but because I like trying to work out how the mistake came to be made.

It goes back to a time when my dad received a letter from a customer apologising for not being in touch for some time because he’d “had a little pat”. A little research uncovered that ‘stroke’ and ‘pat’ equated to the same word in his native language (I can’t remember what it was, possibly French), and he’d therefore chosen the wrong one. Presumably neither word actually translated back to ‘cerebrovascular accident’ in his own language, either.

Sticking with medical terms, I am completely stumped as to what chain of mistranslation could have led to this:

Hot dogs and AIDS

I’m not even sure what ‘AIDS’ should be. Bread? If you know, please explain.

UPDATE: Thanks to Johnski Beat, who found another picture of the same sign in which you can see more of the food on offer. Johnski also points out that flour, cream and sugar are listed below, which suggests something sweet. I can’t see any hot dogs there, so now I’m wondering if ‘hot dogs’ is wrong as well.

The easiest way to get to the bottom of this would be to find someone who speaks Chinese, obviously. That’s too easy, though. Instead, I think I’m going to learn Chinese.

UPDATE: We have an answer! This just in from Johnski:

I have an answer and it’s round and sugary! Apparently it means “Hot dogs and doughnuts”. The last chinese character is pronounced “aydz”. So they’ve just translated the sound. Big thanks to my missus and her Chinese friend for their help with this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.