In today's world no self-respecting English-language enthusiast could have failed to notice the frequent and flagrant abuse of our native tongue by pesky foreigners. (Forgetting, for a moment, the fact that many nations speak our language better than we do.) Lost in Translation features hundreds of genuine, original and utterly ridiculous examples of the misadventures in English discovered all over the world by the author and his intrepid team of researchers. Everything from hotel signs to baffling advertisements, such as the German beauty product offering a 'Cream shower for pretentious skin' or the Japanese bar that boasts 'Special cocktails for ladies with nuts', or the French warning at a swimming pool - 'Swimming is forbidden in the absence of the saviour.' Published in paperback for the first time this autumn, Lost in Translation demonstrates how widely the English language has travelled, though unfortunately some of it seems to have got a bit scrambled en route.
Charlie Croker (aka Mark Mason) is an author and journalist, has written three novels, and has also written for The Times, The Independent on Sunday and The Spectator, among others.