Saturday, 14 January 2012

Some things are better left untranslated

This sign hangs outside a gymnasium near where we live. Ho ho, very funny, but it got me thinking... about Spanish pronunciation (we all have our little quirks). 
I couldn't help noticing how disappointing it was that the 'joke' sort of failed because in Spanish it wouldn't be pronounced the same as it is in English. The 'Arse' bit, would in fact be pronounced ar-seh, as the 'e' is always sounded in Spanish, unlike in English.
'Gym' doesn't travel seamlessly from English to Spanish (and vice-versa) either. In Spanish it would be heem, with a bit of Scottish throat-clearing at the beginning. So, the very Anglo-Saxon Arse Gym, ends up being Ar-seh hhheem, in Spanish. Such a shame!

But, don't despair! There is a bit of humour to be had once you've gone through to departures at Palma de Mallorca airport. For there, you can enjoy a café con leche or a bocadillo de jamon at a rather splendidly named cafetería.
Sadly, while the Spanish pronunciation is pretty near perfect for our chuckling English ears, the spelling does spoil the fun again. But never mind. Now, what was the name of that cafeteria? 

Oh yes...

Chocolate cake, anyone?

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