"Smells Like Teen Spirit" performed in the original Classical Latin

Oclectáte, nunc híc sumus! Read the rest

Church of England refuses to allow foreign language on a gravestone, calling it a "political statement"

Margaret Keane was born in Westmeath, in the Republic of Ireland, and later moved to Coventry in the United Kingdom, where her and her husband raised six children. Throughout her life, Margaret remained active in the Gaelic Athletic Association, and after she passed away in 2018 at the age 73, her family wanted a gravestone that paid tribute to her proud Irish heritage.

Margaret belonged to the Church of England, and was to be buried at St. Giles Church in Exhall. But her family received some pushback when they proposed a plot with a Celtic cross, which the diocesan advisory committee denied for being too large. The committee suggested that the family simply add an inscription of a Celtic cross to the headstone.

The Keane family agreed to the compromise. But the Church of England pushed back again when they saw the planned inscription on the cross: "In ár gcroíthe go deo," which means, "In our hearts forever" in the Irish language. This didn't seem particularly radical, especially as there are already Welsh inscriptions in the same cemetery. But once again, the diocesan advisory committee denied the family's headstone proposal. "Given the passions and feelings connected with the use of Irish Gaelic," said a Church judge who is also a local government judge, "There is a sad risk that the phrase would be regarded as some form of slogan or that its inclusion without translation would of itself be seen as a political statement."

After yet another appeal, the judge agreed to allow the Irish words only if they're accompanied by an English translation. Read the rest

A US cop made an Irish "Blue Lives Matter" shirt that accidentally said "Black Lives Matter"

This is one of my personal favorite bits of Schadenfreude in the world.

This photo was taken by Karen Reshkin at the 2016 Milwaukee Irish Fest, and depicts a somewhat Irish-inspired riff on the standard Blue Lives Matter fascist fashion chic. Except no one explained to this idiot cop how translations work, especially when it comes to idioms.

A blogger named the Geeky Gaeilgeoir breaks this hilariously ironic failure with eloquent detail, and a much firmer grasp of the Irish language than I have. But essentially, this mean translated individual word of "Blue Lives Matter" without considering context or grammar. "Gorm" is indeed "blue." But "chónaí" means "lives" with a short "i," as in, "I live here." And "ábhar" means "matter," yes, but in the noun form — like a subject matter, or a material, as opposed to the verb of "mattering."

The syntax is all wrong, too. And that helps with the absurdity. Essentially, this shirt doesn't say anything.

But the real chef-kiss moment is with the word "Blue." "Gorm" is, technically, correct…in a certain context:

When color is used to describe a person in Irish, it typically refers to hair color. For example An bhean rua: The red-haired woman.

There are exceptions, of course: For example, Na fir bhuí (“The orange/yellow men”) is used to refer to members of the Orange Order because of the color of their sashes. But “blue/gorm” would not be used to refer to police officers as a group. That’s an American thing.

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The Irish language has the best weird translations of common animal names

There's a popular saying in the Gaeilgeoir, or Irish Speaker, community: "Is fearr linn Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla cliste," which basically means "Broken Irish is better than clever English."

I'm American, but I heard this refrain many times when I had the privilege of curating an Irish language Twitter account one week. I was nervous, as I've been learning the language as a casual hobby over the last few years. But the native speakers were remarkably encouraging—they were just happy to use the language at all, and to share its musicality with others. (I think the language is having a bit of a renaissance right now, as people in their 20s-40s feel a longing for a cultural connection that their Boomer parents neglected in their eagerness to assimilate).

This is all to say that: I can assure you that these Irish translations of common animal names are absolutely real. And while they're not broken Irish, they're still far more clever than anything our bastard mutt English tongue could ever come up with:

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Posted @withrepost • Thank you @gaeilge_vibes Is aoibhinn liom Gaeilge 💚🤣 #gaeilge #irish #vocabulary #languages #lol #irishblog #tgif #ireland #éire

A post shared by Emha na Réaltaí (@emasolasnarealtaiimochroi) on Nov 11, 2019 at 7:29am PST

This isn't like in English, where we giggle about "titmice" and "cocks" because of the unintended double entendre. "Cíoch" is actually breast. "Bod" is in fact a penis. These are pretty literal translations; no hidden suggestive meanings about it. Read the rest

"My hovercraft is full of eels" in many languages

The famously mistranslated phrase featured in Monty Python's Flying Circus; here it is in many languages. [via]

Afrikaans    My skeertuig is vol palings Albanian (Gheg)    Anija jêm ãsht plot mê ngjala Albanian (Tosk)    Automjeti im është plot me ngjala Aleut    Baluunax̂ liidax̂ ayx̂aasim hnin Alsatian    Mini Aéroglisseur esch voll von Ààle

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What the Terminator says instead of "Hasta La Vista, baby" in the Spanish version of Terminator 2

In the Japanese version, he says "Cheerio then, love." Read the rest