Household Name's latest post about some funny stories of bad translation reminds me of this joke.
When President Nixon first visited China, he and the First Lady were introduced to Chairman Mao Tze Tung and his wife.
NIXON: You have a lovely wife.
Interpreter: Where, Where?
NIXON (looking puzzled): Eh ... Everywhere
MAO: (looking shocked): 不见得, 不见得.
Interpreter: Cannot see, cannot see.
At one time, years ago, the Straits Times had a daily Bilingual Page. I remember reading this story of a chap who visited Japan. He saw a huge banner outside a Tokyo departmental store which gave him a shock. It read:
出卖大日本, which meant "Betray the great Japanese empire (dai Nippon)"!
Actually, the same words when read in the other direction say; "Big sale today".
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