Atrium: Musical Philosophy Queerly

Finnish band Atrium's musical philosophy, as conveyed by Martian FM's crack shit demo musical bloodhounds:

Finnish band Atrium's music is self-explanatory in Finnish, but here's what frontwoman Diva Panadol says via an electronic translator: 'What it is Atrium? Our visit to the space of the public thing is an approach search with certain lights. It is oneself body dislocated kindly in four subbodys that speak languages dissimilar but that they arise of oneself. Queerly it is a warm and intense quadrilateral. In certain corner the phase mother in which is new sounds that mix melodic, pianos, guitars, drummers and cybernetic systems. In another corner an acoustic way, argued by the one it unplugs of so much tecnics that a little bit, its OK, but it is better to maintain it to line. In the third corner the return to the science of the chips tinged with southern artisan's head and northern yunky fingers. In the fourth corner the one that listens to their amniotic walk, immobile from secret armchairs'.

You'll Need the Scheisshaus After the Fried Steam

One day, this blog will become a United Nations World Heritage Site of unconventional translations.  I already have a section dedicated to this purpose.  However, other outlets -- like Welt Online, sometimes try to horn in on my territory.  This slideshow (G) collects attempts at German and English from all over the world, sent in by German tourists. [h/t K.S.]

My favorite is this bathroom sign from Panama:

But perhaps the best source for translations is menus.  Whenever I go to Other Foreign Countries, I immediately grab the menu out of my dinner companions' hands and scan it.  I'm often disappointed (especially in Northern Europe, where everybody's English is much too good). 

But not in India.  Here are just two of the precious finds I unearhted there.  First, from Hampi, India, "Momus Fried Steam":


Continue reading "You'll Need the Scheisshaus After the Fried Steam" »

Radio France and Demagogy

From Classical Online Radio in Europe, this description of Radio France/France Musiques' programming philosophy. And I think "philosophy" is the right word:

Without adhering systematically to the demagogic formula: "the public is right always", it is necessary for us well to agree that it is not always wrong: to hold account of its observations is least things on behalf of a radio of "public" service. Consequently, with two additional concerts diffused during the weekend, there are four hours more suggested to our listeners who will find - in addition - the appointments which them "fidélisent" throughout the week: this alternation of comments of sensitizing and information.The "plural" spirit of France Musiques will continue to appear by the opening of the chain to all the forms of expression: traditional musics, original film tapes, jazz, contemporary creations,etc.

Have they succeeded in their goal, whatever it is? Judge for yourself over at the Windows Media Stream or the MP3 Stream. Don't blame me if you get sensitized, or even "fidélised," by the "plural" spirit.

The Not Making of the Language Mutilations

As a connoisseur of non-standard English, I encourage every non-native speaker to sign up for English classes with this person (seen in Duesseldorf in mid-April):


I note that the, err, German sub-heading of this poster, "Wiederhole deine Sprache", means "Repeat your Language."

Looks like English is not the only language whose mutilations our friend has experience with.   

Help Test Spray-On Condoms

Germany is the Land of Ideas, as President Horst Köhler will have us believe. One of those bold new ideas: the spray-on condom. If you're as excited by this idea as I am, just go to this website and type in your information. For now, just enjoy the "English-language" description of the study:

Spray-on Condom: Testers Wanted

We are looking for 30 Condom-Testers. Your job is testing the new condom. We are looking for men with a penislengh from 9 until 12 cm and 15 until 20 cm. Men between 13 to 14 cm are welcome, too. You should have experience with condoms and beeing almost 18 years old. Your data will be kept very safe. If you have any questions, please contact us.

[Hat-tip: Ed Philp.]

Write a Novel, Acquire an Amanuensis

Alright, just a cheap excuse to use the word amanuensis. And it's not really lyrical amateur translation, either, but it's close. From the Wikipedia entry about the Hungarian poet and novelist György Faludy, this short excerpt, which is not only wildly juicy but also written in fabulously non-standard English:

Faludy's second wife, Zsuzsa, died in the 60's. In 1963 Eric Johnson (26), a US ballet dancer and later a renowned poet in contemporary Latin poetry, read [Faludy's] novel My Happy Days in Hell, which captivated him, and he decided to seek Faludy in Hungary. He started to learn Hungarian and found Faludy three years later in Malta. He became his secretary, driver, translator, co-author and partner for the next 36 years. In 2002, Faludy married a 26 years old photo model, Fanny Kovács. Johnson left for Kathmandu, Nepal, and died there in February 2004, at the age of 67. Faludy has since published collective poems with his wife.

In Praise of Nasty Dutch Licorice

A few months ago, I visited the "Sugar Shop" in Heidelberg. In the storefront windows were elegantly-dressed, somehow perverted-looking mannequins. (see picture!)

After entering the store, I walked past some display copies of Nazis on Speed and made a very special Zuckerladen request to the heavily-tattooed woman working behind the counter. She responded with a knowing wink, and turned around and delved deep into a drawer. She brought out something and gave it to me in a plain brown wrapper. She told a few curious children they couldn't have any of what I'd just bought. No, I hadn't bought an "erotic guide" featuring (G) Paul McCartney's wife. What I bought was more dangerous: Salzlakritz, or salt licorice.

This is a Northern European specialty I've never seen in the States. It's made with licorice, all right, but it's licorice mixed with big doses of salt and, sometimes, sage. These bitter additives multiply the normal tanginess of licorice exponentially. You pop a black, coin-shaped piece of Salzlakritz into your mouth and it's as if you've begun chewing on a mixture of brimstone and melted car tires. You begin salivating like a dog; not so much because it's so "delicious," but because your body wants to dilute the poison you've just stupidly begun to eat. After a few minutes, it feels as if someone's taken a pipe-cleaner to the inside of your sinuses.

Thus, it wasn't just be chance that the woman at the Zuckerladen called it richtig fieser Salzlakritz (really nasty salt licorice), and really, honestly wouldn't let the children try it. Why spoil their innocent childish dreams of sweet, harmless licorice coils with the tongue-thrashing XXX masochism of the real thing?

And somehow, it's delicious, and you want more. If you want more, visit this online shop. Not only can you order any sort of licorice you'd like in all shapes and sizes (from cats to houses to keys to crayons), you also get to delight in poetic product descriptions (slightly edited):

Soft salty Hindelooper diamonds,

pithy sweet Snekers

and real full sweet ship's knots.

Very exclusive!

Make your choice when

you check out (3 or 1/1/1).