Elwood 5566

Feeding Mummy's Milk

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Education, esl, Korean children by 노강호 on September 5, 2010


I’m often amazed at the blunders Koreans make in translating English and anyone who has lived in Korea even a short time will have amassed some great examples. In my writing, I write little Korean but I strive to make sure my spelling is correct. Conversely, many Koreans are quite happy to widely publicise something in crappy English, probably under the assumption that if you can tag an English sentence on your product or business sign, it is invested with greater authority. The gaff isn’t so bad, and can even be cute, on a mug or bar of chocolate; I have an old notebook on my desk on which is an enormous strawberry which a couple of years ago, when new, was scented. A caption under it reads: I’ve got a loaf of strawberries.’ But my favourite, from a packets of smoked salmon, reads:

‘Around June to September, in a something sun, 3-5 year old well-grown salmon that have brilliant gesture and swim through sea and river along the blue and dear coast of the Pacific Ocean have very good quality of flesh and taste so good and have got praised as food of low-calorie. More than one century salmon has got praise of epicures all over the world. Salmon taste from soft to strong with many nutrients and special pink colour flesh create fantastic mood and taste.’

Nursery rhymes

Ironically, the crappy English actually spurs my taste buds in anticipation of that creamy, special pink flesh, unfortunately eaten many years ago. But when the ‘company’ or individual is involved in English education or aspires to be ‘educated’, it becomes a glaring error upon which an astute reader is going to base a value judgment. Online commentary on anything regarding education demands careful checking in terms of vocabulary, grammar and spelling and should one make even the slightest mistake, it can be expected that no matter how sound the argument, your credibility will be vaporized.

I quite like nursery rhymes! No! I don’t wander around my one-room singing them to myself but as a musician, I have an appreciation for their catchy melodies. The English composer Roger Quilter wove a very successful overture, a Children’s Overture, out of nursery rhymes which I frequently happened to play as a flautist in the British Army. Quilter was a student of the extremely eccentric Australian composer, Percy Grainger.

A year ago I bought a a set of two CDs in E-Mart, badly named, English Chants and of course, a nursery rhyme is nothing like a chant. However, out of the 160 songs, I thought I was sure to find a few of use especially with classics like Humpty Dumpty, Hickory Dickory Dock and Polly put the Kettle on, included.

It was only in a bout of boredom that this week, I perused the titles of the other songs:

Time to stetch – your guess is as good as mine but I’ll go for ‘stretch’.

Going to the friend’s house – no comments!

Going to the Pediatrician, Going to the ENT Doctor and Going to Orthodontist, presume the child is both  acquainted with medical terminology and of a sickly disposition.

Going the DepartmentI can only guess is meant to be a ‘store.’

It’s a snack time – it amusing.

Want to go Potty – Who? Hilarious

Going Back from School – simply confusing!

On birthday – and whose birthday might that be?

But the king of all gaffs is, Feeding Mommy’s Milk. One still has to ask, ‘feeding mommy’s milk’ to whom? And the lyrics are classic:

Are you hungry? Are you hungry?

Feed mummy’s milk

And taste it good.

Sucking. Sucking. Sucking. Sucking

Mummy’s milk is good.

Are you done?

Hear it for yourself – drinking a glass of milk, especially with a straw, will never be the same again!

Click link below:

Are you hungry?

Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

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