I just got a copy of the Russian version of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and I used google to poorly translate the cover and this is now becoming my new favorite thing.

This is what it actually looks like in real life but after running running it through google’s auto-translating cameras, we get something a bit different.

“what is this?” Fair question, honestly.

Then we jump straight to what I can only assume is a sexual proposition. Additionally, “an untrue memoir” pops up on the side and this starts a very long sidebar argument the book seems to have with itself over and over.

“Let’s…let’s foot. What is this? DO NOT HAVE!” I have a lot of questions but, in fairness, I’m pretty sure I’ve said this exact phrase while drunk. The sidebar now reads “WRONG…right in the middle of a memoir” which seems harsh but accurate.

“FALSE. a very true memoir.” A lot of mixed messages here.

This is the closest I got to accuracy and thought I should probably stop there but then I flipped over to the back cover to really find out what this book is about.

And turns out, it’s all about my childhood longing for…elk. Apparently.

But my absolute favorite translations were those that praised the book, and I immediately changed my instagram bio to “IGNORING THE LIMITS OF DECENCY” because that is pure fire.

Bonus: My humor is “not only shitty” (which seems vaguely insulting but also not?) but then Jesus saves it all and calls me the “prettiest offender”.

Jenny Lawson, elk craver, Jesus’ prettiest offender. That’s going on my gravestone, y’all.


Read comments below or add one.

  1. Reminds me of my favorite translation issue… “Out of sight, Out of mind” from English to (I think Russian) and back again gave, “Blind, therefore Insane.”

  2. And you cannot forget your title in the 1st picture – BLOGIN. So much more fun than a blogger.

  3. This is GREAT and so what I needed after messing up my back shoveling snow yesterday!

  4. lol–this is so meta. (And I may not be using that word right.) Because you wrote a funny book. Google technology did something funny with it. Now you are writing a funny post about it. Spiraling further and further inward… I love it!

  5. At least they said it was brilliant. I would stop there. (Btw, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is my favorite book!)

  6. You are the best at making me laugh out loud. Glad I was not drinking milk because it would have come out of my nose!

  7. “What is This” is my favorite. I snort laughed at work, and had to explain yet another joke that no one but me gets. I had only just finished explaining why it’s funny that our new guy’s name is Brett Holt, and that I want to just bellow out “STEVE HOLT!!” And at some point I will probably accidentally call him Steve.

  8. Okay the front cover Google-translations were funny, but then I got to the back cover and now I’m just snort-laughing over ‘elk’. ELK!! You wanted elk! Why is this so funny?? I feel like ‘ignoring the limits of decency’ is one of the best possible titles for a Jenny Lawson book, translated or not.

  9. Don’t all of us long for elk as we grow up?! I mean, come on! It’s right up there with a new bike for Christmas!

  10. I had to pause the audio book for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened because I was laughing so hard at this post that I couldn’t hear it!!!

  11. I’m so jelly I want Jesus to call me the prettiest offender. I can’t want for the next episode in this series. I love your translation posts

  12. Awesome mistranslations, especially bunny for mouse. They are both cute and soft, but one is often loved and the other is often despised.

  13. I lived in Russia, 1990-993; visited Siberia, lived in Ukraine and Belarus; wrote Without a Net, a Sojourn in Russia, and another You Carry the Heavy Stuff; how bizarre; when you live there, you need translators; Lord knows what they are saying; Hilarious and best to you; but how awful for the people to receive this, when the original is so good!

  14. I read “ignoring the limits of deficiency” not decency. I mean …🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤣

  15. Oh My Gosh! I can’t stop giggling. This is the best. Jesus loves your book, too.What about “unbearably funny in the dark?” This whole thing is a gem. Did you ever find the elk?

  16. The tagger is all honey for….WHAT?? Don’t leave me hanging like that google!!

  17. I lived in Japan for 3 years and I had to use google translate to make gyoza. But my translate said to “boil my shark or bake my child” I chose neither

  18. Elk is actually really tasty. One of the few game meats I remember liking. Honestly, don’t be an outcast. LOL This was brilliant!! Thank you for the giggles, Prettiest Offender!

  19. Expect a taxidermied elk in the mail any day now. Google text fought me hard on taxidermied. 😂😂

  20. Thank you Jenny for this masterpiece! It’s not everyone who can say they’ve been reviewed by Jesus as spoiled. I so wish I was brilliantly UnAic!

  21. I love your shitty humor. A little jealous that Jesus thinks you are prettiest. I tried so hard.

  22. Omg you should just make that last bit the forward to your next book. I’m literally gasping for air here. Whew, I needed that.

  23. Well now I’m going to have to have my in laws translate it for you 😂😂😂
    They are from the Ukraine but grew up when it was the ussr so can read and write Russian fluently. So we shall see what they say!!

  24. Shit – now I’m cry-laughing at work. Limits of Decency is a great band name.

  25. Obviously your next book will be titled IGNORING THE LIMITS OF DECENCY.
    Nuff said…

  26. I halfway remember that smart kid in Bloom County causing international consternation when he hacked into Pravda and tried to substitute a peace provoking headline for their usual bluster. Unfortunately, his Google translation actually read, “Gorbachev sings buttocks, tractors.”

  27. Hey, if Jesus thinks your the prettiest offender, who am I to argue. He knows the big boss. But I don’t think you’re spoiled

  28. Hilarious!! You broke Google translate. Though I have to agree, “ignoring the limits of decency ” is pretty good!

  29. This is amazing proof that Jesus either really loves you or loves things that are “unbearably funny in the dark.”

  30. This is quite honestly the most fun I’ve had at work in a long time! Google translate should have its own stand-up comedy channel

  31. Holy turdballs that’s awesome!!! I freaking love it. It’s hilarious how things get entirely twisted in translation to something rather magical.
    Case in point. I ordered a sweater lint remover. It showed up in the mail labeled as “Ball Shaver” My then husband and son left it in the mailbox for weeks in terror of what I’d become 😂😂

  32. “Ignoring the Limits of Decency” absolutely has to be the title of your next book.

  33. Do not trust Google to translate. Trust me on this. Especially with Russian. As far as my limited Russian goes I believe it says “Let’s pretend this never happened “.

  34. Just read the book and “foxen” is now my favorite word, not sure why the dictionary hasn’t been updated with it yet. I will tell my husband as we have some foxen visit our backyard from time to time and we have have a hound dog who “Woo woo woo”s at all the creatures on the other side of fence. Also thanks for helping me feel better about the number of arguments and the amount of eye rolling in my marriage. Thanks for the great read!

  35. I took this picture over to my Russian neighbor to be translated and it perfectly matched my English version of the book cover. So, Google sucks at translating Russian. It’s pretty decent at Spanish translations, though.

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