Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

02 Jan 2015, 23:15 p.m.

Signs And Language

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2015 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I spent the summer of 2001 in Russia, where I saw this movie theater advertising Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck (the banner, transliterated) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (the marquee, translated). If you don't yet know Cyrillic, maybe you can use this to learn the letters "f", "p", "l", and "r"! Also during this period I saw a transliteration of "Erin Brockovich" (which looks very wrong and should be "Erin Brockovna") and a translation of "X-Men" (as "People X").

A few years later, in southern India, I saw that enterprising advertisers were giving away (read: affixing to homeowners' gates) "No Parking" signs ... that is, small metal sheets printed with 90% ad, 10% "No Parking". The ad I photographed particularly confused the issue by proclaiming: "Healthy & Tasty cooking oil: No cholesterol / No trans-fat / No parking".