17. Some Howlers in English

9 08 2010

Prof. Krishnaswamy Natesan, Consultant and Author, Former Professor, CIEFL, Hyderabad delivered a lecture entitled English, Yes, but… during the Fifth International and Forty-first Annual ELT@I  Conference, organized by the Department of English, Anna Adarsh College for Women, Anna Nagar, Chennai from 5th to 7th August 2010.

According to Prof. Krishnaswamy, howlers are quite common in India. He recalled an instance of his correcting a paper for the Civil Services Examination, for  the prestigious job in the country: A candidate had written : “ Indian women eat their husbands before they eat themselves. The candidate had obviously meant that the women take food only after serving food to their husbands.

Given below are a few howlers which he came across while visiting different countries:

 China :

 At a swimming pool :  “ Fall into water carefully”

 A low roof  bus :  “ Bump your head carefully”

At toilet entrance : “ Free toilet paper, treasure the use”

Norway : At a bar : “ Ladies are not allowed to have  a child in the bar”

Rome: At the entrance of a clinic “ Specialist in women and other diseases”

Japan : At a bar : “ Special cocktail for ladies with nuts”

Poland : At a restaurant : “ Hall preparation in our restaurant personally passed by our chef”

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