Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Farewell, poor Natbag*, I knew him well.....

Finally, someone is trying to 'make seder' in the chaotic world of road signage in Israel. Ha'aretz reports.

* The famous sign in English on the Jerusalem - Tel-Aviv Highway directed to something called 'Natbag'. This word, of doubtful utility to any Anglophone traveller or tourist, was a direct transliteration of the Hebrew acronym for Ben-Gurion Airport - Namal Teufah Ben Gurion

---- and while we are on the subject, and in keeping with the festive season, my all-time favourite Ivrit-English translation: When in the early 1980's we lived in Talpiot Mizrach (a Jerusalem suburb), the local grocer was very keen to capture the custom of the sizeable English-speaking religiously-observant community, so he got someone to translate his flyers and ads into English. Wishing to assure his purchasers that his produce conformed with the Torah laws affecting agricultural produce, he had the phrase 'Naki mehashash orlah' printed on his ads. It came out in English as 'Free from the doubt of foreskin'. [Any other examples? In the Comments,please!]

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