Gepostet vor 2 Jahren, 10 Monaten in
Im Erbil International Hotel im Irak gibt's Paul is dead-Fleischbällchen. Das Language-Log hat die Story dazu:
How did this happen? First, someone had to transliterate meat ball into Arabic, with meat becoming "ميت" and ball becoming "بول". Then another person, unaware that this was a transliteration and not a translation, must have run "ميت بول" through Google Translate (or another online translator) to arrive at "Paul is dead."
The mistranslation is facilitated by a couple of aspects of Arabic orthography. First, Arabic text usually dispenses with the diacritics for short vowels known as ḥarakāt, leaving only long vowels represented. So "ميت" is a fine transliteration for English meat /mi:t/, but it could also represent the Arabic word mayyit 'dead' (derived from the verb māta مات 'die'). Second, since Arabic traditionally lacks the /p/ phoneme, loanwords with /p/ tend to be written with the letter for /b/, namely ب. Thus, "بول" could be a transliteration for either ball or Paul.