Friday, October 26, 2007


I'm so glad someone took a picture of this so I can post about it!

A few weeks ago, BYU hosted a huge career fair. I decided to make a token visit. I always get depressed at these--professors always talk up their importance for getting a good, high paying career, making it seem like the recruiters hand out jobs. I've been to a few and have yet to be given a job, or even find one that interested me.

I did talk with the NSA people last time, which actually got me interested in working for them and led to my 3 day series of painful, tortuous interviews.

This time I walked by the "intelligence row," passing the FBI, CIA, DoD, and all the other government agencies, hoping for a free job. I stopped in front of the Navy Intelligence booth and looked at their recruitment poster, which had the phrase "Do you speak my language?" translated in several different languages. Normal recruitment advertising, right?

Take a look at the Arabic sentence:

For those who don't speak Arabic, it is written completely backwards and unconnected (Arabic is written with a cursive script from right to left). If it was English, it would say EGAUGNAL YM KAEPS OUY OD." The Russian is okay, as was the Italian, Spanish, French, and everything else.

And we wonder why we're in the chaos of Iraq?! We can't even EGAUGNAL RIEHT KAEPS!


  1. This afternoon I walked into the living room and Andrew called me over.

    He zoomed up on the Russian really close and said, "Does this mean anything to you?"

    So I translated it for him. He was pleased that the Russian made sense...but then was like, "The Arabic doesn't mean anything! It's just a bunch of random letters."

    I suggested he read it backwards.

    Yup, indeed. They wrote everything backwards. They is smrt.

  2. Forget language, that's the least of the problems! we (used loosely) can't even begin to get our heads around the remotest aspects of their culture, let alone their language! Ok, for those of us who've lived in and out of the Middle East and related areas, we have some idea, but still! We are, by and large, a sad, sad group of people. *sigh* Though at the same time, I hope that anyone who speaks and reads Arabic as a native-speaker and has any kind of sense of humour would get a kick out of our inability to even write the words the proper direction... :)

  3. Technically, there should be the yes/no marker at the beginning of the sentence! No hal. yzarc.

  4. Wow. My knowledge of Arabic is pitifully small, but even so, that's just painful. :)