Poor Translation

The Spaniards arrived at the temple first, looking for gold. New to Cambodia, their translations were incomplete. All the Spanish got from the monks was, “Beware the Nangalang.”

Fearless leader Diaz merely scoffed, “A monster?” He stepped inside the entrance, screamed, and disappeared. The remaining Spaniards fled, telling stories of the horrific monster guarding the temple. Rumors spread across Europe.

In the 1930s, fearless treasure hunter Idaho Johnson braved the temple. He disappeared in an instant.

During the Vietnam War, fearless war hero Colonel Davidson heard about the terrifying monster guarding gold. “Beware the Nangalang!” warned the monks. He ignored the “superstitious” natives…and screamed as he disappeared.

In the 90s, High Priest Dong-Hue introduced his son to the temple. At the entrance he said, “Beware the Nangalang!”

“Right, Dad,” said Quok, obviously fluent in the local language. “I’ll watch out for the hole in the stairs leading to a bottomless pit.”
Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/09/23/sambor-prei-kuk-temple-cambodia/

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Poor Translation

  1. k rawson says:

    Oh my, that is hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! I guess it doesn’t pay to be fearless or intrepid.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Ha ha, enjoyed this immensely. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So it would have paid to hire a translator, but fearless adventurers always try to do things on the cheap. What an intriguing moniker, that “Idaho Johnson.” It kind of rinds a bell. 😉

    Very well told, Eric. I’ll be sure to take a crash course in local lingo before I travel abroad now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      The trouble with fearless guys is they often don’t think they need to listen to the “little people.” It’s how fearless guys end up dead a lot of times. 😉 Thanks most kindly!


  5. luckyjc007 says:

    Wow! A severe and fatal consequence for having a lack of knowledge! I hope the son shared his knowledge with others before they made the same mistake as the ones that disappeared. Moral of this is ….. knowledge can be a real life saver!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Pretty much. Westerners have a habit of venturing into unknown lands and thinking bravado alone will see them through. Sometimes just taking the time to stop and listen is far more powerful. Thanks kindly! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant! Or should I say ‘Brilli – aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh….’ …:-)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tskraghu says:

    Enjoyed it! Wished the title didn’t give it away. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lyn says:

    LOL never skimp on a good Cambodian phrase book. Well done as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LucciaGray says:

    Loved it! So funny. Cultural and linguistic misunderstandings can lead to lots of trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. tskraghu says:

    Reblogged this on Kaleidoscope and commented:
    Time again to turn to the artist adept at ‘sewing coats give the mere buttons’ – no two alike – that leave you wondering at the cut and the fit and wanting more!

    Here he walks you down a don’t-know-where-it’s-headed path until in a flash it’s all laid bare, only some 100+ words later!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Eric,

    After all these centuries I hope someone just fixed the freaking stairs. 😉 I love your twisted sense of humor.



    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jelli says:

    Good one! Gotta understand the language for sure. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, I sure fell for that! Well told, Eagle.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ha! That’s very fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dahlia says:

    Point noted! 😀 Very well done indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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