Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ajax = Manchester United?

I'm still pretty new to this town, so I can't claim to be a football fan yet, let alone an Ajax fan. (For non-Dutchies the Ajax are the Amsterdam football team. And the one that I've been told is a good bet to support.) But I do know that if you want to get to understand a city and its culture you need to go to their sporting events. So this evening I went online to try to buy some Ajax tickets.

I tend to use Google Chrome as my primary web browser because it's got a tool that translates all the Dutch pages into English automatically. This is good, most of the time, but it can be challenging because some of the translations can be a little off. For example, yesterday it kept changing the letters UK to NL, which is a rather important distinction. I guess the software has the concept of a country down, but not the idea that differentiating between countries is important. 

So tonight, when I pulled up the Ajax page this is what I found in the ticket purchasing section:



I couldn't figure out why they'd be advertising for Man U matches. But hey, if Manchester was coming to town to play Ajax that's a match I'd be interested in seeing. But then I clicked on the "show original text" button and this is what I got.


No mention of Manchester United at all. It appears that Google Chrome has translated the local football club's name into that of Manchester's storied franchise. Fortunately, I'm not really a fan yet, otherwise I'd likely be apoplectic. This is the equivalent of changing the Vancouver Canucks into the Detroit Redwings, without any indication that some great mistake had been made.

Now, I know not to trust Google for my translations. But UK to NL and Ajax to Man U seem like pretty crucial nuances. One would think that, with all their ridiculous brainpower, they could figure this one out.


Parisienne Signage

Colleen and I spent last weekend in Paris. It was Colleen's first time, so we did all the proper touristy things - The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Pompidou Centre.

I love walking around Paris. It's an absolutely beautiful city, with stunning views and buildings around every corner.

On our adventures there were a couple of signs that I particularly liked. This first one was in Notre Dame. Apparently if you're carrying a lot of sins around with you, then you must be tired and need a seat. If you're not ready to confess, then you'll just have to carry on. (Apologies for the not great photo.)


Then there was this sign at the exit of a parking garage. If you're stylishly wearing a red scarf, hat and carrying your umbrella, then you run a major risk of being clobbered over the head. It's a risk that fashionable people have to take.