Lost in Traslation

Hi! Hello! Good evening!

I have the feeling I'm missing something (because english is not my first language), sometimes it's just a feeling, sometimes I am absolutely sure I missed the joke.

Would you please explain those jokes (or puns, you tell me)? Right now I just remember two, but I'm sure there will be more.

"What a silly bunt" my dictionary can't help me with this, can you? what is a "bunt" or a "cunt"? (since he can't say the letter C)

"Donkey Rides" I'm sure it's not two boys carrying a donkey, but what is it?

Thank you very much for your help!

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Not that late: This is not a question about language, but about British culture, and I think some people would find it interesting.

It's about that hotel that inspired John Cleese to write Fawlty Towers, here you have one of the gazillion times he told the same story. Anyway, my question is: How do you eat?

genji at 11:22 pm November 28

I keep my knife and fork in hand while eating, lay them down on either side of the plate when having a rest, and put them down side-by-side on my plate when I've finished.

I think Americans also use the same cutlery for each course (except dessert), but perhaps an American could correct/confirm that. We use new cutlery for each course.

thewastelandr at 11:46 am December 06

It depends if you are eating formally or informally in America. Formally, we eat the same way as the British.

arkennedy at 4:32 pm November 29

I'm American and it depends on the person. However from my experience at least for the most part you're right. As for me though, I usually only have one course because I'm almost never hungry enough to eat more than one.

Not that late at 5:59 am December 01

Hmm... ok, thank you.

TheRealGilliamFan: Everything in his translation book is urban slang of sexual meaning. LOL, I'm not gonna type it, but here ya go on the donkey rides:


genji at 12:23 pm November 25

I could be wrong but I really don't think "donkey rides" refers to titty fucking. The joke was in the sign - it is not clear whether "donkey" is the subject (the donkey gets a ride) or the object (we get to ride on a donkey). Context tells us it is the latter because, in the UK, we know we get to ride on a donkey at the seaside (in Egypt they get to ride camels), but the visual joke is that Mr. Chapman and Mr. Cleese are giving the donkey a ride, thus subverting the contextual meaning of the sign.

I think this is a fascinating thread if there are other instances when foreigners don't quite get the joke.

Not that late at 6:57 am November 26

Yes, the pun sound more likely... don't worry, if I have more trouble I will post it, I guess that most of us "foreingners" don't realize when we don't get the joke.

Not that late: I have another one! "Nutshell"

(What does it mean?)

thewastelandr at 7:56 am September 08

"In a nutshell" means "in short" and it captures the essence of the whole thing/person in a brief explanation.

the_thina at 9:15 pm September 05

what the word nutshell mean? its the hard shell of a nut.
but if you say for example "thats john in a nutshell" it means "thats typical john"

Lvndr HppE: I never got the "silly bunt" thing either. Over here, "bunt" is a kind of cake. I never put two and two together with the fact that he couldn't say the letter "c" and "silly bunt" before.

Lvndr HppE at 11:52 am September 05

Nice picture, though. From "And Now for Something Completely different".

Not that late at 2:46 pm September 05

The picture explains how I felt when I started watching tv shows and films in english ;-)

Mrs Attila the Hun 93: What is a 'c**t', you ask? It's a vulgar term for the female reproductive organs (Vagina).
The BBC had to censor the 'What a silly bunt' bit from the original sketch in Series 3, because the word is considered quite offensive.

As for the 'Donkey Rides' bit, I'm not too sure about. Maybe it's to do with the fact that it was a popular tradition for us Brits to go the seaside and pay to ride on Donkeys across the beach. I know, I've done it before. It's good fun :D

genji at 10:47 am November 26

I didn't know the BBC had censored it. I always thought the whole joke (not being able to say the letter 'c') was devised specifically for that line in order to get around the censorship.

Not that late at 2:21 am September 05

Ok, thank you! I didn't know they cencored this, but I've noticed that in the shows like "Drury lane" the audience laughed really hard with this phrase, so I had to ask. I'm sorry if I offended someone.
And about the donkey... I guess you are right, in Spain we have some places where you can rent a horse for a walk, but not in the beach, because people are swimming there (and barefoot), you can't even take your dog to the beach (there are some beaches they allow animals, but just a few).

Mrs Attila the Hun 93 at 2:45 am September 05

Heh it's OK :D Yeah, they did censor it in the original. Right after Eric says, "Oh, that's very good. I never thought of that," there's a massive roar of laughter, and you can tell it's been cut.
You can't even take your dog to the beach?! No way man! XD

Not that late at 2:59 pm September 05

Well, my dvd's are not censored, I love it too (the fact they can use their footage now uncesored).

And about the beach, you have to understand, the beach is always crowded, some people don't like dogs, and dogs don't like some people (particularly those people who don't like dogs). So if you go with your dog and someone calls the police you have to leave. This was a little irrelevant, I know... but who cares? If you want to know something about Spain just ask! he he

the_thina: yes the first one is ment to be "silly cunt" since he say b instaid of c.
but about the second one... I dont know. haha

mrsCutout: oh I don't have right now the dvd so i can't check but one thing is for sure they don't say cunt! I remember very well.now about that donkey rides I don't think it's supposed to be a special joke it's just silly.At least that's the idea I got from Mike's diary! But yes it's quite hard to understand certain things and not so much cause of the translation rather than the different way of thinking plus the long time it was made haha!

the_thina at 5:21 pm September 04

hahaa, dont say cunt? have you forgotten the albatross-bit in holywood bowl? it was just when bbc was resopnisble they were not allowed to say stuff like that.
and yes, he cant pronounce c, righ, he says b instaid, so "silly cunt" becomes "silly bunt" so that WAS the joke

mrsCutout at 4:52 am September 05

Haha yes I know but this was after the series.I mean there's no way the BBC would have let them say cunt then! But yes I know that! ah it's so funny when even though it's censored they still leave it like that.For the example in the Proust Competition!LOL