Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Florence: Strange Stuff

This is my final entry about Florence - saving some of the best stuff for last!

Sign outside a door on the train into Italy. This looks to me like a really bad case of inter-linguistic "telephone" - the Italian was first translated into French, and then the French was used as the basis for the (pretty unintelligible) English translation.

A trilingual sign (Italian, English, Spanish) warns people not to buy counterfeit goods. The Italian and Spanish say "it's forbidden to buy fake merchandise or knock-offs (imitation items) from unlicensed vendors" but the English truncates things a bit. Note that "abusivi" doesn't mean "abusive" but rather "unauthorized."

An old clock inside the Duomo. It's a 24-hour clock in with hours as Roman numerals, plus the one (I) is in the 6 position and the hand moves counter-clockwise.

Hotel sign says "breakfast" in Italian, English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Japanese. A few diacritical marks are missing in the European languages (e.g. should read Frühstück, petit déjeuner and pequeno almoço) and the sign gives the romanized pronunciation of the Japanese characters 朝食 but overall this one is pretty good.

Lovely museum across the street. "Serial Killer" needs no translation, but "Jack lo Squartatore" [Jack the Ripper] does. (Why not "Giacomo lo Squartatore," I wonder?)

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