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Amusingly Mistranslated Signs From Around the World

If you've ever been to a restaurant in Greece, chances are you've seen lamp on the menu. The spelling mistake is about as ubiquitous as nude sunbathers on the beach in Mykonos. It's less likely, however, that you've seen my favorite mistranslated sign at Delphi, which reads: "No introducing animals and food on the path." (Banana, meet my daschund Petey. Petey, this is banana"¦)

I've had the good fortune of capturing some great mistranslations over the years as I've traveled, and the even greater fortune of unearthing even more gems on Flickr. Enjoy.

Jesus is said to have walked on water at this, the Sea of Galilee. I guess that was before the municipality of Tiberias erected this sign.

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If you crack the code, and open the hidden safe, you don't even want to know what's in store! (via Ben Beiske)

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Rumor is, triping will be a new category in the next Olympics. Part drunken stupor, part obstacle course, the new sport is already very popular in small villages in China. (via brytness)
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When in Ethiopia, probably best to avoid this restaurant... (via joshua tuggle)
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On the other hand, I bet using this bathroom in Deqin, Yunnan, China is a unique experience. (via Timmok)
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Never understood what this Jerusalem church has against married folk, but you have to love the photo for the mistranslation, AND the spelling mistake, AND the grammar, AND the artwork.

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This one speaks for itself... from a small hotel in Israel.
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And just to come full-circle, here's a variation of the Delphi sign found at the Acropolis. Not as amusing, but still cute.

What's your favorite mistranslated sign? In what part of the world did you find it?

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The Surprising Link Between Language and Depression
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iStock

Skim through the poems of Sylvia Plath, the lyrics of Kurt Cobain, or posts on an internet forum dedicated to depression, and you'll probably start to see some commonalities. That's because there's a particular way that people with clinical depression communicate, whether they're speaking or writing, and psychologists believe they now understand the link between the two.

According to a recent study published in Clinical Psychological Science, there are certain "markers" in a person's parlance that may point to symptoms of clinical depression. Researchers used automated text analysis methods to comb through large quantities of posts in 63 internet forums with more than 6400 members, searching for certain words and phrases. They also noted average sentence length, grammatical patterns, and other factors.

What researchers found was that a person's use (or overuse) of first-person pronouns can provide some insight into the state of their mental health. People with clinical depression tend to use more first-person singular pronouns, such as "I" and "me," and fewer third-person pronouns, like "they," "he," or "she." As Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Reading and the head of the study, writes in a post for IFL Science:

"This pattern of pronoun use suggests people with depression are more focused on themselves, and less connected with others. Researchers have reported that pronouns are actually more reliable in identifying depression than negative emotion words."

What remains unclear, though, is whether people who are more focused on themselves tend to depression, or if depression turns a person's focus on themselves. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people with depression also use more negative descriptors, like "lonely" and "miserable."

But, Al-Mosaiwi notes, it's hardly the most important clue when using language to assess clinical depression. Far better indicators, he says, are the presence of "absolutist words" in a person's speech or writing, such as "always," "constantly," and "completely." When overused, they tend to indicate that someone has a "black-and-white view of the world," Al-Mosaiwi says. An analysis of posts on different internet forums found that absolutist words were 50 percent more prevalent on anxiety and depression forums, and 80 percent more prevalent on suicidal ideation forums.

Researchers hope these types of classifications, supported by computerized methods, will prove more and more beneficial in a clinical setting.

[h/t IFL Science]

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Pete Toscano, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
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Here's the Right Way to Pronounce 'Pulitzer'
Pete Toscano, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Pete Toscano, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The Pulitzer Prize has been awarded to top creative and scientific minds for over 100 years. Named after late 19th-century newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, the prize is a household name, yet its pronunciation still tends to trip people up. Is it “pull-itzer” or “pew-litzer”?

Poynter set the record straight just in time for today’s announcement of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners. Emily Rauh Pulitzer, wife of the late Joseph Pulitzer Jr., told Poynter, “My husband said that his father told people to say ‘Pull it sir.’”

If you’ve been saying it wrong, don’t feel too bad. Edwin Battistella, a linguist and professor at Southern Oregon University, said he pronounced it “pew-lit-zer” until a friend corrected him. Battistella looked to Joseph Pulitzer’s family history to explain why so many people pronounce it incorrectly. He writes on the Oxford University Press's OUPBlog:

“[Joseph Pulitzer] was born in Hungary, where Pulitzer, or Politzer as it is sometimes spelled, was a common family name derived from a place name in southern Moravia, the village of Pullitz. In the United States, the spelling Pulitzer would have quite naturally been Anglicized as PEW-lit-zer by analogy to the other pu spellings like pure, puritanical, pubic, puce, and so on.”

Ultimately, though, it’s up to the family to decide how they’d like their surname to be pronounced. Here it is, pronounced just how the Pulitzers like it, in a YouTube video:

[h/t Poynter]

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