The Anonymous Widower

Does President Putin Speak English?

I’ve wondered this for a few months and this article on Newsweek, which is entitled Does Putin Speak English? After Trump Meeting, The Kremlin Weighs in.

This is the first paragraph.

Russian President Vladimir Putin may have been praising Donald Trump’s listening skills last week but on Monday, his own abilities as a good speaker were receiving plaudits. Putin’s English, seldom heard by western audiences, is good enough to correct his translators, according to the man hired to speak on Putin’s behalf.

I think we can take the answer as yes!

April 15, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Mainland Birmingham

Just listening to Adrian Chiles doing a live broadcast on the Brexit debate from the Bull Ring in Birmingham.

He has just interviewed a third-generation Indian sub-continent stall-holder, who described himself on-air as born in Mainland Birmingham.

Even Adrian, who is a Brummie, was caught out by the phrase.

The wonders of the English language.

May 17, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Is A Mobile Phone A Dog And Bone With Legs?

My father, who was not really a real Cockney, as you couldn’t quite hear Bow Bells from where he was born, was a regular user of rhyming slang.

I was writing a message to someone and suggested we text each other.

I then realised that I’d never heard rhyming slang for mobile phone, which led me to the title of this post.

This page supports the use of Obi Wan Kenobi.

June 18, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

My Christmas Presents To My Son And His Partner

They usually like me to give them gift vouchers, for somewhere like Liberty or Selfridges, so they can choose something for themselves or their home, which has just be renovated.

To complicate matters my son’s partner is Korean, so I couldn’t be over-the-top in a way only the English would understand.

The frames were simple ones from John Lewis and the translation was courtesy of Google’s English to Korean translator.

It was totally correct. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?

Who would have thought that this idiot, who had trouble getting O levels in French and English, would be able to get a translation into Korean right?

December 27, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Helpful Welsh

I sometimes find translations rather amusing.

An Obvious Translation

An Obvious Translation

In this case surely the English translation isn’t needed.

October 22, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

What Is The French For Knackered?

According to The Times, the French PM said “We have six months to save France, or we’re knackered”

Google translate gives the answer – crevé

September 16, 2014 Posted by | News | , , | 1 Comment

Stance Or Stand?

I was surprised at the use of stance for where I would use stand at Buchanan Street bus station.

Stance Or Stand?

Stance Or Stand?

I’ve always felt that signs like these need an International or European standard.

London rarely makes any difference between an ordinary bus stop or a stand, where they wait before perhaps returning along the route. Londoners probably call every one a bus stop, but then they’ve had the same sign all my life.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

We Have Ways Of Making You Learn

I’ve just read a report in The Times, which says that Munich Technical University, one of German’s best, is going to teach Masters courses in English.

It reminded me of a story told by a Frenchman, who had immaculate English and worked for I think IBM.  He went on a company course in Germany, which as participants were from all over Europe, was being conducted in English by a German.

On reaching a concept that some on the course found difficult, he addressed everybody with “We have ways of making you understand these things!”

Somebody had to explain to him, the laughter that followed.

July 26, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Bilbao’s Heritage Signs

I would assume that this is a sign, which gives information about Bilbao’s heritage.

Bilbao's Heritage Signs

I can make a guess at reading Spanish, although the only thing I can read here, is that it is about a convent from the seventeenth century.

But then if Bilbao wants to attract more visitors, it really must improve its maps and information.

I know it’s all very political, but how many foreign visitors to the area, can speak the local language?

December 9, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Underground Goes Bilingual

There is not much bilingual signage in London. So I was surprised to see this.


London Underground Goes Bilingual

London Underground Goes Bilingual

I must check, if the machines have instructions in various languages.

November 24, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments