This Forbes article purports that Egypt is fast becoming the Middle Eastern version of Haiti. There are many economic similarities, but the latter has voodoo, you know that chicken bone, pin-dolly religion that is vaguely creepy. And I can’t think of anything analogous in Cairo, or Cai-ruh-roh as it is known locally. The folks there are all so normal and neighborly.
How many secret servicemen does Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi need to protect him? I count at least ten men’s warehouse-clad agents below.
I like the massive doves on the banner too. Nice touch, very peaceful. The giant head of Morsi? Also very professional. Although it almost looks like they slipped some subliminal writing in on big-man Morsi’s mustache. You will obey Mohammed. You will do everything he says. You are getting very sleepy:
For years, I had problems spelling Egypt. I finally stumbled on a useful mnemonic device for the proper spelling. Just think gyp when trying to spell the country’s name. Not that I’m saying anything about Egpyt. I mean Eypgt. Er, Eygpt. . . Ah, Egypt. Right. Egypt, gypland.
Mahmoud Salem penned a letter to the United States in Foreign Policy Magazine. Don’t jump to conclusions, despite what this first paragraph says:
I have a confession to make: While the whole world was transfixed by us, yet again, due to that whole attacking-the-embassy business, I was going through a tumultuous emotional journey, alternating between bewilderment, horror and shock-based laughter, ending with the most unexpected of feelings: pride. I must say that currently I am filled with a sense of ironic pride for my country and my revolution, for the status both have achieved over the past 19 months. The attention and importance given to Egypt, well, it has been nothing short of overwhelming. We sure have wowed you.
I’ve been reading his stuff for years. He started as a blogger over at Rantings of a Sandmonkey and has covered a lot of the important issues occurring in Egypt.
Alright linguists, let’s test Google Translate. We need a joke, something basic to run through the software to see how it performs in a comms check. Apologies to comedians everywhere:
1. A guy goes into the doctor’s office.
وقال الرجل يذهب الى مكتب الطبيب.
2. And tells the doctor: Doc, I think I am a dog.
ويقول الطبيب : DOC ، أعتقد أنني كلب.
3. The doctor says: hmm, how long have you had this problem?
الطبيب يقول : هم ، كم من الوقت هل كان لديك هذه المشكلة؟
4. The guy smiled and said: every since I was a puppy!?!
ابتسم الرجل وقال : منذ أن كنت في كل جرو؟!
After Action Report:
1. Google translated “goes” as the English slang for “said” rather than the action verb “to go.”
2. We lost sentence ordering here, but if read backwards, it still translates, somewhat.
3. Very close. With the exception of translating “hmm” as they. (Which in Arabic, the sound “hmm” does mean “they.” But in English, we use it to “think.” Or are they translating it as a sound?)
4. Punchline: So I learn a new word here: جرو. Does that mean “puppy?” Perhaps. (Whoops, I switched verb tense, but Google got it right.) Sometimes I feel like a جرو around Arabic. And jokes too.
Update: So the wily proprietor of Bookworm Room has commented below about running the phrase back through the translator. Excellent idea. Let’s, shall we?
1. The man goes to the doctor’s office.
2. The doctor says: DOC, I think I have a dog.
3. The doctor says they are, how long have you had this problem?
4. The man smiled and said: Since you each a puppy?!
And there it is, complete gibberish. In 2 above, the inclusion of an English word messed up the ordering. In Arabic, we (Arabic speakers) read right to left. We don’t do this in English, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and no particular desire to understand what is written.