Thursday, June 7, 2007

Arabish

A few days ago I saw a report on CBS Evening News about China's efforts to improve mistakes in English language around the nation...dubbed "Chinglish" (Chinese English), in preparation of the upcoming Olympics tourism there. We have our own version, called "Arabish" (Arabic/English). Although I have yet to see an "Anus Hospital" for a proctologist like they had in China, some signs can get a bit corny. I usually don't have to look any further than my own family...myself, husband and kids included, to get the best Arabish (a later post) but these specimens are out for public display:




Do you feel lucky? Take a chance with our oil.




In case you ever wondered where the town's fat-a**es go to play pool:








Nursing homes are so cruel. We just throw all the old guys in one neighborhood so they have their own little community. We call it "Old Kout" area. (old coot in American English=old codger for those in England):
In a country where young men and women sometimes marry without having met each other, you can get to know your seafood and poultry in a meet-and-greet before they're killed for your dinner:
In case your turkey needs a trim:
Possibly free delivery or is the food free if I 'arrive' there?:




Just in case there's someone who feels like commenting on how cruel I am and how these people are trying and I should give them credit since this isn't their language...blah, blah, blah... I suggest you take yourself to that "Anus hospital" in China and get that stick removed so you can laugh more:D

23 comments:

Ahmed said...

Kout is the name of the old part of Hofuf. You can say that Kout was the heart of Hofuf. My whole family, and many of Hassawi big families, used to live there before moving in the recent years to the more modern areas of the city.

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Just to elaborate a bit further...everone can see pictures of the actual old "kout" (meaning fort in Arabic) back in the days that Ahmed was talking about at http://www.outintheblue.com/Hofuf.htm . This particular "old Kout" is called Ibrahim's palace.

Cairogal said...

LOL-A lot of these signs seen in the region are free if you slap up the Coco-Cola or Nescafe or Nestle logos. I think that's one reason the signs are generally a bit 'off'.

Anonymous said...

Ehh....I think it is totally hilarious! I am not going to "critisize" you. :) I am American btw...not exactly a proud one but one nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

LOL!You must be having fun with all these *errors*. But as my grandfather would say when we asked him why he never learnt to speak any other language apart from arabic,he would say that it was not HIS language. :) sf

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Cairogal, anon- most of these signs were taken in ONE afternoon. If I always had my camera with me at all times when I go out, it would be a goldmine. My eyes go straight to it having taught ESL.

SF- Your grandfather sounds like my American grandpa..same attitude different languages.

hema said...

DAISY these made me laugh out loud in a very quiet staffroom and people were looking at me funny!

Umm Adam said...

You beat me to it! I tried to take some pics of Arabish for my blog, but they were blurry because I was in a moving vehicle. I have one of an Ice Truck that was from the "Saudi Ice TUBE Factory". I always see the "Ceramic and MARBAL" stores. Let's not forget the "hair SALOON". So many!

ابو شثيد said...

When I was in the US learning English, I made more than a few big errors. One of the biggest was when I asked for a large 'Cock' in MacDonalds instead of a large "Coke". I also 'barked' my car.

Ann said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

Oh, yeah, I get a kick out of these, too. I was looking at a website for boat cruises yesterday, and they had all kinds of information about how many "path rooms" the boat has, and how it's great for "bartis"...

Carol said...

SSW, I've said it before and I'll keep saying it...you need to get syndicated!

I wish my driver (read husband) were not so conservative and allow me to take photos when we are out together. You are so correct in that one sees doozy's each and every day.

One of my favorites is when entering the ladies-only floor at Al-Memlika where you are greeted by the sign "Ladies, Remove Your Face!"

American_Bedu

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Hema- get some work done and stop slacking off:)

Um Adam, Carol - just a tip for sneaky picture taking. Since there are people who tend to get a bit uptight at the sight of a camera, In crowded areas, I never hold it up to my eyes. Rather, I cup it between my hands, enfolded in my abaya with only the lens sticking out and I aim by looking at the view-screen so people aren't wise to what I'm doing. A cell-phone camera makes it even easier! Also, my husband blogs vicariously through me, he took most of the pictures out of his side of the car after I spotted them. He's not as timid about people seeing him taking the pics and I'm constantly reminding him of picture taking etiquette...like asking peoples permission and so forth.

Ann- For some reason I thought Kuwait would have less Arabish. I don't know why I thought that, perhaps I see it as more cosmopolitan than Al-Hassa.

Casmee said...

Haha love those signs! I've even seen similar mistakes on a visit to Dearborn MI which is a little Arab world of its own--the ones you found are more creative though!

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Casmee- Dearborn!! There's a blast from the past for me. I used to go there to buy hijabs and baklava. It was the first time I'd seen women walking down the street wearing old-fashioned 'from-the-head abayas in the US. I don't remember seeing 'Arabish' signs but then again, I only passed through quickly. I did see plenty of "Spanglish" in other big cities which is just as interesting and "Chinglish" and "Arabish".

Sunil said...

Your blog is very interesting and nourished with humor . I like it.

أبو سنان said...

Being married to a Saudi I have come to find these "Arabish" words cute.

أبو سنان said...

ابو شثيد

Your story reminds me of the practical joke my father in law, Saudi, and his friend played on another friend who had just come to the states.

The guy didnt know almost any English and my father in law and friend took him to the social security office to apply for his social security card.

They told him how to say it in English and he want up to the lady when it was his turn.

Problem is, my father in law being the pankster, told him to ask for a "Sexual Security Card". lol

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

Sunil- Welcome to my blog and thanks for the compliment:)

أبو سنانOh God! My husband will get a kick outta that one, it's hilarious!

أبو سنان said...

LOL! Imagine it being said in a thick Khaliji accent........lol

Lalla Mona said...

OMG Thats soooo funny lool

Lianne said...

Excuse me but this is way too much. You can't have me laughing like this, I'm gonna wake my husband up. I mean I'm shedding tears here. You are too much sis. Asalamualikum and happy Jummah :)

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

lalla mona, lianne- y'all come back now, y'hear

Unknown said...

That's very interesting. Thank you for sharing.