Woeful Transliteration #1

1 August 2014, TV = 839.2 hours

a somewhat problematic transliteration

Umm…I think I’ll stick with the traditional Thai massage, thanks.


Well, transliteration has its hazards. Presumably, whoever wrote the text for this sign was unaware of the English word whose form the transliteration (unhappily) aligns with.

On the other hand, maybe this is really more of a spelling error. A closeup of the sign’s upper right corner —

massage_sign_closeup
— reveals that the Thai name is  มิสภูเก็ต. ภูเก็ต is the name of a Thai province — an island in the south that’s a popular tourist destination — usually rendered in English as Phuket; while มิส is undoubtedly itself a transliteration of English “Miss.”

So it seems the name of the establishment was supposed to evoke a beauty pageant winner, but what with the h vanishing and the t somehow getting dropped from the end, what’s left is…well, kind of a hot mess.

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4 thoughts on “Woeful Transliteration #1

  1. aiyshah2014

    hahahaa…..yes I love these kinds of things. Here in Malaysia there is a shop that proudly writes its name using English letters….it’s called the FOOK YU shop.

    Reply
    1. adamf2011 Post author

      Well I remember a “Foo King” Chinese restaraunt in NY when I was growing up; but maybe that was intentional to get people’s attention. In any event non-native English can be pretty hilarious, and I know for a fact my Thai has at least on some occasions been equally amusing.

      Reply
      1. aiyshah2014

        Yes, the one in Malaysia wasn’t intentional. The owner couldn’t speak English at all so I’m sure was unaware. He was very proud that it was written in alphabet form….

        I keep looking on my travels. Yes, sometimes it’s hilarious.

  2. Pingback: Woeful Transliteration #3 | learning thai without studying

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