June 28th, 2007
|09:28 am - Are you ordering lunch or voting for president?|
Gotta Love this :
BOSTON - Mitt Romney's been called many things as he runs for president, but chances are "Sticky Rice" isn't one of them.
That's how his name might be read on some ballots, according to state Secretary William Galvin.
Galvin says the federal Justice Department is pressuring Boston election officials to translate candidates' names into Chinese characters in precincts with prominent Chinese-speaking populations.
But there's more than a little lost in translation, according to Galvin.
Since there's no Chinese character for "Romney," translators have resorted to finding characters that most closely match the sound of each syllable in the name.
The problem is that there are many different characters that could be used to match the sound of each syllable, and many different meanings for each character.
So Mitt Romney could be read as "Sticky Rice" or "Uncooked Rice." Fred Thompson might be read as "Virtue Soup." And Barack Obama could be read as "Oh Bus Horse."
Galvin's own name could be read at least two different ways, as "High Prominent Noble Educated" or "Stick Mosquito."
But perhaps the most perplexing translation would be for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's name, which could be read as "Sun Moon Rainbow Farmer" or "Imbecile," or "Barbarian Mud No Mind of His Own."
"To try to make rhymes or approximations in Chinese, you can have unintended negative meanings," Galvin said. "It leads to confusion. You can render it with a good meaning or a bad meaning."
I was always afraid that the kanji tat of Munchkin's name on my leg said something like "anally pleasures toothless goats" when translated.