Thursday, March 5, 2009

A turkey in Turkey (in the Subway)

In French
turkey = dinde
Turkey = la Turquie

In Dutch
turkey = kalkoen
Turkey = Turkije

You probably wonder where all this is leading to. You’ll soon find out, stay with me.
Brussels is slowly becoming a real city. Last year we had the opening of our first Starbucks (granted, it’s in the airport), and a few months ago we welcomed Subway to the local sandwich-scene. Hurray!
What is becoming obvious, is that these international companies are having a bit of a hard time with Brussels’ bilingualism. Which caused me to laugh out loud today when I came across a poster of Subway, showing all their sandwiches. Of course, the names of the ingredients were in French and in Dutch. “turkey” was “dinde” in French all right, but in Dutch it became “Turkije” and not “kalkoen”. So the country instead of the bird. The mistake was repeated at least four times on one poster.
So after ordering my sandwich, I couldn’t resist the urge to tell the guy behind the counter that there was a mistake on his posters. “Really? Let’s go out and see – show me!” So we went outside together, and I explained him the translation mistake (feeling like a teacher all over again). We had a good laugh about it, the guy going “Yeah, at Subway we put entire countries on our sandwiches!”. The joke went on – as I had finished my sandwich, I of course had to answer to the question “Et, c’├ętait bon la Turquie?” And I have to admit : it was a delicious country!

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