Thursday 10 May 2012 – Language is a wonderful thing, words can start wars and bring peace. The art of communication is a wonderful thing, whether it’s between humans using phrases and carefully structured sentences, or honey bees, dancing to let workers know where there’s a good patch of pollen rich flowers. It is believed that Geese have a vocabulary of thirteen sounds that enable them to communicate with each other; Hyena have recently been discovered to have a complex language that scientists are only just beginning to decipher.
(Hyena are not related to the dog genus as many people think, but are actually related to meerkats – Now there’s a whole new advertising spin off for a clever marketing whizz-kid).
But there are times when language can let us down, we’ve all heard of phrases that once literally translated become humourous: When Coca-Cola was translated for the Chinese market it became, ‘female horse stuffed with wax’; no wonder they needed a quick name change to get sales moving.
Sometimes mistranslation may say what we’re really thinking. Madonna’s, 1992 famous coffee table entitled ‘Sex’ suffered in translation when it was published in Hungary, and once printed was newly titled, ‘Slut’.
But there’s a book on the market that has caught my eye, it’s by a well renowned Thai cook, and it uses her name very clearly, and I’m not sure there’s an English equivalent that would make this publication more appealing. It’s called – well here’s the cover of the book, so you can see for yourselves.
Ci vediamo domani