Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lost in Translation

A few puzzling signs and products from my trip so far. First from Spain:

This shampoo was unfamiliar, no matter what the label said.

A successful brand?

From Italy:

First, there is the six-legged, fire-breathing dog used as a symbol for a chain of gas stations. Doesn't seem like the best animal friend to have nearby when pumping flammables.

This restaurant sign from Venice is not quite as incomprehensible as it might seem at first glance, because it's located in the neighborhood called the Ghetto. But it makes me wonder if it's a chain, with Gam Gam locations in other neighborhoods?

By the way, I learned in Venice that the word "ghetto" comes from the Italian word getari (pronounced jett-ARR-ee), which means foundry, because the Jews were confined to the area near Venice's foundries. As non-native speakers of Italian, they pronounced the word with a hard G, which led to the word we use today.

This comic may lead children astray:

This shop probably caters to African immigrants, but I thought it might be a bit hair-raising:

I have no idea what this means:

This is a store with kids' clothes and toys, I think, but as a native English speaker, it's hard to see it that way:

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