How to Say Fabulous in 8 Different Languages
Every so often when perusing the travel section of a bookstore, I come across a book I know I must have. While I may not be so sure when I'll get to use it, I know it will one day serve me well.
How to Say "Fabulous" in 8 Different Languages by Gerard Mryglot (a staff translator at Berlitz) and Ted Marks (Quirk Books, 2006) is exactly one of those books. A travel phrasebook for gay men, Fabulous offers some extremely important phrases translated from English into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Not only are some of these phrases things we would actually say while on vacation ("Are there any gay bars around here?"), a lot of them are just hilarious and a great way to get excited for your next European (or Japanese) adventure. After all, where else can you learn how to say "I feel like Shelley Winters in the Poseidon Adventure" in all the languages listed above?" All of the phrases are translated uniformly so if you see one phrase in French, it will definitely appear in German, Russian, and so forth.
(In Italian it's especially nice: Mi par d'essere la Shelley Winters nell'Avventura del Poseidon).
The phrases are broken into sections:
Honey, Let's Go gets you pumped up for the ride ("All I need on vacation is a bikini and an evening gown;" in French, Tout ce dont j'ai besoin en vacances, c'est d'un bikini et d'une robe de bal) and other levels of silliness.
Basics gives you the normally important phrases ("I am American/British") either with flair or a sense of importance (We want one double bed, please, not two single beds; Wir möchten ein Doppelbett, bitte, keine Einzelbetten in German). Shopping is also self-explanatory.
Night Lifeprovides bar vocabulary and any reference to cruising, both good and bad; while Dining and Politics each allow one to add spice to brunch conversations; Hair, Make-Up, and Glamour can help you say "I need an emergency facial" in Portuguese (Eu preciso de uma limpez de pele urgente); andOpening Lines, Parting GlancesandSex include phrases on all manners of flirtation, interaction, and the ever-important terms for insisting on safe sex.
However the real crowning glory and uniqueness of this book shine through in the Idle Chatterand When Tempers Flair sections, or, as I would call them, Drag Queen Neccessities. Here you can learn "What a trashy look!" in Spanish (Qué vestida tan vulgar!) or the correct pronounciation of "Радуешься? Значит ты и дурак." or Enjoying yourself? Then you're an idiot in Russian, pronounced RAH-doo-yesh-sa? ZNAH-cheet tih ee doo-RAHK.
I can't stress enough the neccessity of this book for gay travelers. So, bon voyage, cherie and pick up this book on your way to the Air France terminal! Ciao!