Posts Tagged ‘translation’

Jewish race tongue

December 11, 2012



Above is a photo sent to us by Stephen in Tokyo, who asks:

What is a Jewish race tongue?

I’ve attached a photo of the English version of instructions for disposing of rubbish in my building. The instructions won’t win any prizes for literary style but I can just about guess what it most of it means…except for the bit about a Jewish race tongue. What is it and how big is one? Is there a chance that I may have unwittingly disposed of one in the wrong fashion?

Readers, could you go to the comments to shed light up this? Perhaps you could feed the phrase ‘Jewish race tongue’ into Google Translate, turn it back into Japanese, and translate that properly.


EPISODE 236 – like Jurassic Park, but with Romans

November 8, 2012

Rub-a-dub-dub, two nuns in a tub – but what the blazes are they getting up to in there? Find out in Answer Me This! Episode 236:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

Today we consider:

Roman wine
Roman semen
flamenco dancing
Roger vs. Wilco
wet bars vs. dry bars vs. swim-up bars
the Moorish influence on Span vs. Frank Muir’s influence on Spain
polluted peanuts
Sarah Palin’s password
laundry fragranczzzzzzz
Pfalz Historical Museum drink options
the oldest continuously producing Cabernet Sauvignon vine
airport shopping
double disk drives.

Plus: Olly is a bit disappointed by his holiday hotel’s drink facilities, in that they did provide kettles but didn’t serve drinks through boobs; Helen doesn’t think you should trust Password Wallet any more than post-it notes; and Martin the Sound Man is never going to make it as a wedding singer if his set is just ‘Heartbeat‘ four times followed by ‘Magic Dance‘ as encore.

In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) Olly reminisces about the time he had a wet bar in his student bedroom. People always think wet bars are so ritzy, but the Olly Mann twist on MTV Cribs fanciness can be yours for only £20 from Millets.

We are, as always, agog to receive your QUESTIONS, so please email them to or leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis.

By the way, if you’re curious about spiders after today’s episode, our pal Jim Bell of Geekpop podcast is your spider man. NB Jim is not Spider-man, he is a normal man who doesn’t wear spandex and seems fairly unwracked by angst. He is just very keen on spiders, as his website demonstrates – in an entirely safe-for-work way, we assure you.

Less safe for work is our photo of Olly demonstrating that, like today’s questioneer Brad’s wife’s student, he is the bollocks. Click here to see. Don’t be scared – it’s much gentler than all that nasty Staplenuts business last year.

Anyway, rest assured, dear listeners, that we think you are all the bollocks. So please bring your beautiful bollocky selves back here next Thursday for AMT237.


Helen & Olly



June 12, 2012


Lucky for us, Finlay from Edinburgh but now in Tokyo speaks fluent Super Mario:

In the latest podcast you mentioned the phrase “1-up”. This is a classic example of Japanese English: basically, when the Japanese borrow words from English, sometimes the meanings change.

In this case, the Japanese word(s) for “up”, usually represented by the character 上 (down is 下, in case you were wondering), have a wider range of meanings than the English word “up”, including things like go up, increase, get up, over, on, and so on. When they borrowed the English word “up”, it was applied to a wider range of meanings, in this case particularly the one meaning “increase”. Another word that was changed is “get”; they use it when they achieve something.

Some of these phrases eventually filter back into English, so you often see 1UP and GET in videogames, and internet denizens sometimes use get in phrases like FIRST POST GET!!

And that is today’s lesson about linguistic borrowing. We’re all learning through play, we really are.