Friday, June 6, 2008

Learning English the hard way

The Lebanese impress many a foreigner with their superb mastery of languages. In fact, quite a few Lebanese are more fluent in English or French than in their own (step)mother tongue Arabic. That's even more amazing considering the study material. Take a look at the below pictures, that come from a Strawberry Shortcake picture book so little kids learn English while they play.

The first picture is innocent enough, even making the Arabic sound more flowery in English. Quite a feat since Arabic is known for its beatiful and colorful expressions.

Photo 1: The Arabic says: Strawberry loves to study", the translation in English is certainly more flowery:-)

Photo 2: A study that loves, a candy that provides...notice your mind understanding already!

Photo 3: Now try to figure out this one...and don't peak at the Arabic!

Photo 4: Increasingly difficult to translate: the Lebanese friends I asked had no idea what 'hamadryad' means, but were able to tell me that the Arabic text says that kitties are very happy in the spring. They must have heard about the Doha Truce!

Photo 5: What??? Strawberry getting kinky??

Photo 6: Ah, that explains all!


Anonymous said...

When I started reading I was thinking like the author should be hanged for this, not only him but also the Minister of education. However, when I saw the barcode at the bottom, it’s like someone dropped a bucket full of ice on me.

adiamondinsunlight said...

Riemer, this book is an absolute gem. I am crying from laughing so hard. And seeing the "made in" label explains so much about Syrian signage.

where on earth did they pull "hamadryad" from - the Chronicles of Narnia?

Anonymous said...

hahahaha!! Very funny posting!

nora said...

rhis is hilarious! as i was going through the images, i was thinking that it had to be made in syria---hahaha