X-Post de.etc.sprache.misc,alt.usage.english, F'up de.etc.sprache.misc. Answers may be in German or English.
A request to English native speakers: Please, have a look onto the following sayings wich are translation drafts of some stylistic howlers, spoken by Professor Galletti (a grammar school teacher 200 years ago), collected and noted by his students. BTW: In Germany this genre is named Kathederblüten.

Will these howlers amuse an Englishman too? I would appreciate it if you tell me mistakes or misunderstandings ore give suggestion for improvement. Original German tongue slips of Galletti: http://www.galletti.de/galletti/

Eine Bitte an englische Muttersprachler und guten Englischbeherrscher: Schaut euch bitte mal meine untenstehenden Übersetzungsversuche einiger 200 Jahre alter Kathederblüten des alten Prof. Galletti an (die zugehörigen Originale findet ihr bei Bedarf hier: /). Erheitern diese Verspreche auch Engländer? Ich bin dankbar für Hinweise auf Fehler und Missverständisse sowie für Verbesserungsvorschläge.

(1) Regarding the birds of Saxony, the largest of them is the lummox.

(2) After the Battle of Leipzig you could see horses with three, four or even more lost legs straying cross-country.
(3) All Mediterranean islands are either larger or smaller than Sicily.

(4) When Humboldt did climb up the Mount Chimborazo the air becomes so much rarefied that he couldn't anymore see without specs.

(5) The African Lion usually grows up to the age of ten, and after this time simply its size increases.
(6) The Angora rabbit is one of the most strange but beneficial insects.

(7) Certainly, vicar, I am well pleased with Blädner's behaviour. With Seifert not at all. At least (luckily) he is much better than Blädner.
(8) Don't contradict what I never insist!
(9) Gotha is not more away from Erfurt than Erfurt from Gotha.

(10) Assuming within a few minutes a cannon ball goes for a quarter of an hour, roughly it will arrive at Erfurt.
(10) Apparently you think studying history is simple just as playing slapjack. - Fiddlesticks! You can learn history in a flash, but learning slapjack is a hard graft for years.
(11) Nightly reading in bed is a silly custom. We have examples of folk who forgot to switch out the light. But when the stund up however they must notice that they were burnt.
Remarks/Anmerkungen:

(1) In the Galletti original the expression Brummochse is used. It sounds like an animal name, but it is a colloquial expression for a pig-headed or stupid person (regional). Brummochse means growl(ing)/buzz(ing) ox (6) In the Galletti original the Angora rabbit (germ: Angorakaninchen) is mentioned by an obsolete expression: Seidenhase. Is there an accordingly expression in English (out-of-date but comprehensibly)? (10) In the Galletti original there is a parision with a card-game named Schnorps (= Schnapsen or Sechsundechzig). For English translation my intension was to choose a well-known (under Enlishmen) and very easy-learned game. Is slapjack such a game?
Matthias

Die Hauptstadt Philadelphia ist 1712 gestorben. Prof. Galletti ** Wer zum Kuckuck ist Prof. Galletti? ==> http://www.galletti.de / **

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"Matthias Opatz" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
A request to English native speakers: Please, have a look onto thefollowing sayings wich are translation drafts of some stylistic ... grammar school teacher 200 years ago), collected and noted by his students. BTW: In Germany this genre is named Kathederblüten.

It's often nearly impossible to translated anything to do with word play. But you made a good start...
(1) Regarding the birds of Saxony, the largest of them is the lummox.

I don't know how many native English speakers understand the word "lummox". I know it's used in my dialect (as in: "girt vaat lummix"), but that's all I can really say. I also think that this "slip" was actually intentional, since "Vogel" ("bird") can be used to refer to a strange or funny person. Although English did at one time use the word "bird" in a similar way, it's not used so much now, and most people, I think, would miss the joke. Basically, Galletti was being very rude about the Saxons. I think this sentence is bordering on the untranslatable.
(2) After the Battle of Leipzig you could see horses with three, four or even more lost legs straying cross-country.

Not bad, but the phrase "lost leg" is strange. The German says "abgeschossen" "shot away" or "shot off". Also, I think "you could see" is a little too literal: it's easily understood, but sounds a little strange to me. "After the Battle of Leipzig, there were horses wandering around with three, four or even more of their legs shot away." Hmm... not perfect, but it's the best I can do at this moment. (Where's my coffee?)
(3) All Mediterranean islands are either larger or smaller than Sicily.

That's perfect.
(4) When Humboldt did climb up the Mount Chimborazo the air becomes somuch rarefied that he couldn't anymore see without specs.

You have about half a dozen typical German errors in there. I won't go into them all, but here's my suggestion: "When Humboldt climbed Mount Chimborazo, the air became so thin that he could no longer see without glasses."
(5) The African Lion usually grows up to the age of ten, and after thistime simply its size increases.

"The African lion is usually fully grown by the age of ten, and after that it just increases in size."
(6) The Angora rabbit is one of the most strange but beneficial insects.

"strangest", not "most strange".
(7) Certainly, vicar, I am well pleased with Blädner's behaviour. With Seifert not at all. At least (luckily) he is much better than Blädner.

A "Kirchenrat" is not a vicar, he is a member of a church council, and his title might be translated as "councillor". Assuming, of course, that that is his title, and not his name. My suggestion: "Yes, yes, Councillor (or: Herr Kirchenrath), I am very pleased indeed with Blädner, but not at all with Seifert. But he's still better than Blädner."
(8) Don't contradict what I never insist!

Don't contradict what I never told you.
(9) Gotha is not more away from Erfurt than Erfurt from Gotha.

"Gotha is not much further from Erfurt than Erfurt is from Gotha." Note that, in the original, the implication is that Galletti thinks Gotha is further from Erfurt than Erfurt from Gotha, just not by very much. This is expressed in English as "not much", not "no more".
(10) Assuming within a few minutes a cannon ball goes for a quarter of an hour, roughly it will arrive at Erfurt.

"If we assume that a cannonball can travel for a quarter of an hour within a few seconds, it would arrive somewhere near Erfurt."
(10) Apparently you think studying history is simple just as playing slapjack. - Fiddlesticks! You can learn history in a flash, but learning slapjack is a hard graft for years.

"Fiddlesticks" is certainly not a translation of "ach!", and I don't know anyone who would ever use that word. "You seem to think that history is as easy as playing snap? Ha! You can learn history in one hour, but snap takes many years of study." Snap is a popular children's card game; not an exact equivalent, but it has the advantage of sounding similar to "Schnarps".
(11) Nightly reading in bed is a silly custom. We have examples of folk who forgot to switch out the light. But when the stund up however they must notice that they were burnt.

"Verbrannt" here implies not just burnt, but burnt to death. (There's the old joke about the man who, when he woke up, discovered he'd died in his sleep.) Also, the "light" is a candle, and candles are not switched off like electric lights. "Reading in bed at night is a bad habit. We have several examples of people who forgot to put out their candles at night, and when they woke up the next morning, had been burned to death."

Hmm... if I've repeated anything anyone else has said, I apologise, but that's what happens when you set follow-ups like that without telling anyone...
(1) Regarding the birds of Saxony, the largest of them is the lummox.

I don't know how many native English speakers understand the word "lummox". I know it's used in my dialect (as ... the joke. Basically, Galletti was being very rude about the Saxons. I think this sentence is bordering on the untranslatable.

What about "Regarding the birds of Saxony, the largest of them is the brat."?

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"Florian Weimer" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
I don't know how many native English speakers understand the ... Saxons. I think this sentence is bordering on the untranslatable.

What about "Regarding the birds of Saxony, the largest of them is the brat."?

It just doesn't work. "Brat" is not a good translation of "Brummochse". To be honest, I can't think of a good translation of "Brummochse". "Donkey", perhaps, but then it would not be clear that Galletti was referring to people, not animals. This joke relies on a wordplay that only works in German, and any translation would confuse, not amuse, a native speaker.

(I've just realised that the people over at de.etc.sprache.misc might not be very happy at having a thread in English about English in their newsgroup.)
(I've just realised that the people over at de.etc.sprache.misc might not be very happy at having a thread in English about English in their newsgroup.)

A thread about* English is perfectly on topic in this newsgroup, and I don't consider it objectionable if it's *in* English too. While the charter states German as the *preferred language, there has to be room for the use of another language as long as it furthers the purpose of the discussion (which is doubtlessly the case whenever feedback from native speakers of that language is desired). Furthermore, most subscribers will be able to follow the thread (and to some degree actively participate in it as well), and there isn't too much traffic in the group anyway.
Michael
(de.etc.sprache.misc deleted)
(10) Apparently you think studying history is simple just as ... flash, but learning slapjack is a hard graft for years.

"Fiddlesticks" is certainly not a translation of "ach!",

"Fiddlesticks" is a somewhat old-fashioned exclamation of frustration. When I was a child I had a set of pick-up sticks with the brand name Fiddlesticks. They were old, and may have dated from my mother's own childhood 1910-15. They are still sold: http://www.kiddstoys.co.uk/fidstks.htm

John Varela
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rewboss filted:
(3) All Mediterranean islands are either larger or smaller than Sicily.

That's perfect.

It's just a shame it's not a true statement...not as long as Sicily is a Mediterranean island..r
rewboss filted:

It's just a shame it's not a true statement...not as long as Sicily is a Mediterranean island..r

Spike Milligan got this one right:
"One of them was taller than the other, as is often the case in Ireland." Puckoon.

Don Aitken
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Don Aitken infrared:
rewboss filted: It's just a shame it's not a true statement...not as long as Sicily is a Mediterranean island..r

Spike Milligan got this one right: "One of them was taller than the other, as is often the case in Ireland." Puckoon.

The moon is smaller than the earth, but it's twice as far away.

Peter Moylan peter at ee dot newcastle dot edu dot au http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)
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