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You know you’re a language nerd when...

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 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
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meramarina
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 4131 days ago

1341 posts - 2303 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: German, Italian, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 1169 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 12:37am | IP Logged 
OH! Multilingual packaging, how I love it, it's one of the great joys of my life. I know I am a language nerd because I have stacks of it. It's all hidden and I cannot tell you where because I don't want anyone to mistake it for trash and throw it away. It is not trash--it is TREASURE.

I learn a lot from it. In fact, I have a piece of packaging I got last week and it taught me a new word in English! It's a closet organizer, and the instructions are: "Insert hooks of frame into grommets on top." What, grommets? I'd never seen or heard that word before. In Spanish the word written here is "anillos" and in French it's "les boucles." So I understood the directions better in the other languages.

Language learning progress!

. . . or maybe just the work of a bad product copywriter.
1 person has voted this message useful



maydayayday
Pentaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3383 days ago

564 posts - 839 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, SpanishB2, FrenchB2
Studies: Arabic (Egyptian), Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Polish, Persian, Vietnamese
Studies: Urdu

 
 Message 1170 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 2:46pm | IP Logged 
meramarina wrote:
OH! Multilingual packaging, how I love it, it's one of the great joys of my life. I know I am a language nerd because I have stacks of it. It's all hidden and I cannot tell you where because I don't want anyone to mistake it for trash and throw it away. It is not trash--it is TREASURE.

I learn a lot from it. In fact, I have a piece of packaging I got last week and it taught me a new word in English! It's a closet organizer, and the instructions are: "Insert hooks of frame into grommets on top." What, grommets? I'd never seen or heard that word before. In Spanish the word written here is "anillos" and in French it's "les boucles." So I understood the directions better in the other languages.

Language learning progress!

. . . or maybe just the work of a bad product copywriter.


Grommets could be correct .... if the hole/ring/loop is somehow protected or cushioned ? I think I would have used ring or loop rather than grommet.

I frequently have to look up English words that forum members have used. Many people I know says I have a huge vocabulary.... obviously not huge enough just yet.
1 person has voted this message useful



seldnar
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5296 days ago

189 posts - 287 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, French, Greek

 
 Message 1171 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 4:12pm | IP Logged 
Its a real word and it was "popularized" by Martha Stewart. I had never heard the word
before a few years ago when suddenly every woman friend I had seemed to know it. They
all learned it from Martha Stewart.

meramarina wrote:
I learn a lot from it. In fact, I have a piece of packaging I got
last week and it taught me a new word in English! It's a closet organizer, and the
instructions are: "Insert hooks of frame into grommets on top." What, grommets?
I'd never seen or heard that word before. In Spanish the word written here is
"anillos" and in French it's "les boucles." So I understood the directions better in
the other languages.

Language learning progress!

. . . or maybe just the work of a bad product copywriter.

1 person has voted this message useful





meramarina
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 4131 days ago

1341 posts - 2303 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: German, Italian, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 1172 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 7:25pm | IP Logged 
Yes, I checked and grommets is correct to use, but it's an unusual choice. And as much as I study and work with English, even though it's my native language, I'm always finding words I've missed, like this one. So I learned a word, always a good thing! (doesn't Martha say that?)

I never mind learning a new word in any language, but product instructions should be written for a very broad, general audience. This isn't one of Martha's items, but maybe she popularized the word without checking with me first! How could she!

I think even the New York Times is written on an ninth-grade reading level, and many other publications for a level even lower than that. So, many people might be likely to misunderstand the word. It's always best to be very clear when writing instructions for a general audience. I have the impression that the copywriter might not be native to English, even though the product is domestic. Perhaps the company outsources the writing duties?

I did enjoy the Spanish and French instructions, though! And I've added a word to my English vocabulary - I think I'll try it in conversation now and see what happens! It's my Nerd Duty.

Edited by meramarina on 22 October 2010 at 8:28pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Desacrator48
Groupie
United States
Joined 3472 days ago

93 posts - 127 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, French

 
 Message 1173 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 7:43pm | IP Logged 
When you are nonchalantly going to the ATM to get some cash in your usual hurried and routine fashion and are about to be handed your money when you notice the Wells Fargo screen say: "We are now available in French!"

This gives you pause and a secret smile because:

1) You just came from you car where you were speaking along with you French Assimil CDs.

2) If this announcement was for Spanish (the other language you are learning) it would be no big deal at all because Spanish is already everywhere in California & there are indeed people who only speak it. French, on the other hand, is never heard so it's cool to see an appreciation of the language on the part of a large bank.
1 person has voted this message useful



fireflies
Senior Member
Joined 3345 days ago

172 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 1174 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 8:44pm | IP Logged 
Packaging does seem to be very multilingual these days. I recently bought something that had instructions in about 10 languages on it (including Mandarin and Dutch). I stared at the paper in amazement for about 10 minutes.

I recently noticed a misprint on a bag of Santitas tortilla chips.

Total fat/ grasas totalas.

'Totalas???!' I thought to myself. 'This can not be'

I checked the dictionary several times because I couldn't believe I saw an error. It is totales right? One time I went to a library with instructions for Spanish speakers taped onto the door and noticed some errors.

I have never had Saki in my life because I hear it is very strong but the bottles are sometimes very artistic. I love stores that sell a variety of global products.


Edited by fireflies on 22 October 2010 at 8:46pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Levi
Pentaglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3731 days ago

2268 posts - 3328 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish
Studies: Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian

 
 Message 1175 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 9:55pm | IP Logged 
fireflies wrote:
Packaging does seem to be very multilingual these days. I recently bought something that had instructions in about 10 languages on it (including Mandarin and Dutch). I stared at the paper in amazement for about 10 minutes.

I recently noticed a misprint on a bag of Santitas tortilla chips.

Total fat/ grasas totalas.

'Totalas???!' I thought to myself. 'This can not be'

I checked the dictionary several times because I couldn't believe I saw an error. It is totales right? One time I went to a library with instructions for Spanish speakers taped onto the door and noticed some errors.

I have never had Saki in my life because I hear it is very strong but the bottles are sometimes very artistic. I love stores that sell a variety of global products.

You're not the only one who takes notice of the poor Spanish translations all around us in the USA. Here's one I saw the other day on a bus window. Who can spot the error?


Edited by Levi on 22 October 2010 at 10:00pm

1 person has voted this message useful



fireflies
Senior Member
Joined 3345 days ago

172 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 1176 of 3735
22 October 2010 at 10:30pm | IP Logged 
abrir solo en caso de emergencia


1 person has voted this message useful



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