absolut jerusalemTranslate the following sentence from Hebrew into English:
“Yerushalayim: Ayn ir kazeh.”

You might have said “Jerusalem: There is no city like it.” (Or if you’re Michael, who is the grammatical bomb diggity, you’d point out that the actual phrase was “Ayn od ir kazo.”)  Certainly it was this translation that was intended by the Jerusalem municipality when it produced thousands of flyers that opted for a different translation: “Jerusalem: There is no such city.”

[Reuters, via Barri again, who really needs a website so I can link to her]

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


  • I think the Hebrew is as bad as the English. If they meant “there is no city like it” they should have said “ein `od `ir kazeh”

  • Actually, the Hebrew is “Ein ‘od ‘ir ka-zo.” ‘Cause, like, city is feminine and all…

    What this really demonstrates, however, is the municipality’s crippling lack of imagination in slogans. They used almost exactly the same one for the “Kayitz Yerushalmi” billboards for summer events in the city: “Ein ‘od chavayah ka-zo.”

    Which brings me to another point: what’s with all the bad English in brochures and signs and menus and whathaveyou in Jerusalem? Could they honestly not find an English speaker to doublecheck before they went to the printers? It’s like being in East LA and printing a sign in incorrect Spanish – there’s just no excuse.

  • Anglo Jerusalemites do not have sufficient protektzia to get cushy unionized jobs at the Jerusalem municipality. So… Making Engrish
    brings us much pleasure in the way… happy work play time. On top Gold Jerusalem sexxxy girl! Kawaii!

    Get used to it Michael.

  • That’s hilarious, if anyone has a copy of the brochure, please post it!

  • poor English.. reminds me that last night I was at the HolyLand grocery store in Manhattan’s East Village, where they had honey cakes from Israel, with packaging made in Israel that told potential buyers that the cakes were “LAW FAT.” Oh those funny Jews