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Travel Talk

Useless phrases drawn from actual phrasebooks by Swedish linguist Mikael Parkvall, from Limits of Language, 2006:

  • At what time were these branches eaten by the rhinoceros?
  • I don’t play the violin, but I love cheese.
  • I have my own syringe.
  • I had a suckling-brother, who died at the most tender age.
  • The beast had a human body, the feet of a buck, and a horn on its head.
  • Because I was out buying a pair of wooden shoes.
  • I had yams and fish for two days, and then I ate fern roots.
  • I want a specimen of your urine.
  • The corpse will be taken to Tonga.

A Chechen manual includes the phrase “Don’t shoot!”

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