Monday, December 18, 2006

The Sleeping Dictionary

A Monty Python sketch revolves around the existence of a Hungarian Phrasebook, where the words and phrases are anything but accurate, causing much embarrassment to those tourists unfortunate enough to find themselves using it.

Thirty years later, I have a Casio electronic dictionary which, on entering 'TV' (or 'tv' for that matter) into English-Korean defaults to the Korean for 'transvestite', and initially translates '사위' (son-in-law) as 'taboo/in abhorrence as an ill omen'. I was briefly so impressed with Korean Father when he kept pointing at me, making me type
'사위' into the dictionary so I understood. Much to my disappointment he hadn't seen the real me through the language barrier but was in fact, merely pointing out my role (and presumably future responsibilities) in the family. Oh well.

Since I presume the Japanese sense of humour doesn't stretch to creating a modern-day Hungarian Phrasebook, I can only assume they will have to claim the same defence the publisher in Python's sketch did - incompetence.

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