Eating the Untranslatable: Down the Rabbit Hole in Baku

“It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”

Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections

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Bunny gray underpants on the menu at Beer Hall 2, Baku, Azerbaijan (photo taken July, 2013)

In 2013, I had the opportunity to study Azerbaijani at Azərbaycan Dillər Universiteti (Azerbaijan University of Languages) in Baku as a Critical Language Scholarship participant. While out enjoying an after-studies beer and saçli peynir (smoked string cheese), I encountered this gem of a translation.

Google Translate secures a pretty authoritative direct translation of the Azerbaijani qızardılmış dovşan, in English: fried rabbit.

Wither this peculiar entry –  bunny gray underpants? 

What am I missing here?  The schlemiel? The schlimazel?

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