Sunday, February 20, 2005

Your Mom's box

Since .Pete asked:

I'm not using this space for anything else this week, I might as well figure out the Japanese and Hebrew translations of "Your mom's box". Also, editing this post was a pain, so sorry if my misspellings make it worse

Japanese was easier because I knew of a reliable on-line dictionary that contains slang terms, but it was harder because I don't know it as well. お前のお母さんの箱(o-ma-eh-no o-kaa-san-no ha-ko) would be the literal translation of "Your mom's box". The only slang term I could find was 玉門 (gyo-ku-mon, a "beautifully decorated gate"). Judging from the few sites I could find it used in the desired context, I'm guessing it's more of a literary or formal euphemism than the neatly abrupt 'box'. If it's any consolation, お前 (omae) is often used in an insulting context. Use あなた (anata) if you want to be more straightforward, or, even better, leave it out if it's clear from context whom — or whose mom — you're talking to — or about. So: お前のお母さんの玉門 (your mom's "gate") would be o-ma-eh-no o-kaa-san-no gyo-ku-mon.

For Hebrew, a quick run through a translator yields a perfectly acceptable literal translation. I also went looking for a dictionary and found this as incomplete as it is. Here's a citing showing koos is apparently in common use (though the 'mom' part is more commonly spelled emek instead of ummek). This page looks like to be a slang dictionary (maybe) that includes the term. Koos has the opposite problem from the Japanese term — it's way more crude and explicit than "box".

So: הקופסה של אמא שלך, pronounced hakufa shel eemah shelcha, with a guttural ch, stress on the syllables ku, ee, and cha, is literally "your mom's box", and the modern slang derived from Arabic is קוס אמק, koos emek.

No comments: