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Punchlines

November 30, 2009

I had to laugh today as I was perusing The Local Expat, a freebie English-language local rag that can be picked up in most shops around here.

An advertisement for a hair salon doing its utmost to project an image of über-cool chic ran the catchy slogan  ‘Indulge your hair and expose yourself!’ which I’m sure must have all the native English speakers doubled up with laughter.

On the whole the Dutch speak pretty good English but they often miss the finer nuances of the language and are too stubborn and proud to believe that there is any need to pay a professional translator to write their slogans in English for them.  This may be seen as a pity if you are a language purist or a blessing if you enjoy being tickled by naïve but enthusiastically misplaced translation.  TV adverts are in Dutch but often have an English slogan comprising empty words that make no sense whatsoever.

Included amongst those are ‘Born to be cheap’ for a telecommunications company that uses sheep around the boardroom table in their ad.   I think there is supposed to be a pun, the point of which I haven’t quite figured out yet, between ‘cheap’ and ‘sheep’ but I can’t see ‘born to be cheap’ as something to boast about in the English-speaking world.   Another example of  a clumsy slogan that says nothing is ‘True quality matters’ for a small car which incidentally is being chased around town by a giant butterfly.  What is ‘true quality’  and does it really matter more than plain old quality, I wonder?

Ah well, c’est la vie, as we are so fond of saying in England.

In the words of that great philosopher and observer of modern man Del-boy Trotter, “mange tout, mange tout.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fig permalink
    December 1, 2009 9:32 pm

    You should really write a book.Honestly,I would love to read your future
    bestseller:)

    • purplejake permalink*
      December 2, 2009 7:09 pm

      Thanks for reading and thanks for such a complimentary comment! Just need that elusive plot now…

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