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February 20 , 2011

Still Lost in Translation

More misadventures in English abroad


Have you ever arrived in a hotel room and been baffled by the information provided?

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Beware of your luggage.

In your room you will find a minibar which is filled with alcoholics.

Do not throw urine around.

Have you ever been to a restaurant and wondered what on earth to order?

Bored Meat Stew

Lorry Driver Soup

Kiss Lorraine

Have you ever arrived in an airport and found that the supposedly helpful signs just make you feel more lost?

You are required to declare all sorts of private things.

Departure. Bus stop. Car rectal.

Please buy your ticket consciously.

Charlie Croker has, and in 2006 he gathered together what he thought was the definitive collection of English language howlers for his bestselling book Lost in Translation. But he reckoned without the great British public. Not only was the book a smash hit, it also opened the floodgates to a deluge of emails and letters stuffed full of further mistranslations and mutilated phrases. From a leaflet from the Museum of Rasputin in Russia (which is apparently situated in a house that belonged a pilot fish Zubov) to a song title on a pirated Pink Floyd CD (Come Fartably Numb), the scrambled sentences just kept flooding in. At the same time Charlie has continued his travels and picked up gems of his own. With such a wealth of material, a sequel wasn't just a necessity, it was a public service, and Still Lost in Translation is even more addictive, whimsical and side-splittingly hilarious than the first book.

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