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Jim Naugler

Jim Naugler

When someone speaks a language you don’t, much is lost in translation.

True story: A Japanese manufacturer of a 3-wheel ATV is sued for bad design and bad safety instructions.

The owner’s manual shows the driver leaning the wrong way as the ATV rounds a curve.

At trial, the Japanese design engineer, who speaks only Japanese, takes the stand. On cross-examination, the lawyer asks, “The manual diagram shows the rider leaning the wrong way. Yes or no?”

The translator and witness debate the question. After much discussion, the translator turns to the court and says, “No.”

The lawyer replies, “‘No’ must be a very long word in Japanese.”

No translation is required in Belize, a Central American country bordering Guatemala. Belize parted from Britain in 1981.

Economically poor, Belize is rich in biting bugs called “no-see-ems.” While you can’t see “no-see-ems,” you can “feel-em.” And the welts on your body the next day let you see-em and feel-em.

Belize replaces speed traps with speed bumps. A total of 37 massive concrete slabs stop traffic in a 24-mile stretch from Palencia. Brits call them “sleeping policemen.”

Question: What’s a Belizean crash-test dummy?

Answer: A drunk who smashes into a speed bump at full speed.

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