all your base are belong to us

“Das ist sau komisch.”

Literal translation: “That is pig strange.”

What I would have said in English in the same situation: “That is really f@–ing strange.”

And therein lies the entire problem of translation. The itch that can never quite be scratched. The photo that just won’t hang straight. It’s not just the (impossibly imprecise) art of translating culture- or language-specific idioms that get my panties in a bunch. It’s the (impossibly complicated) translation of what a certain person with a certain personality would say in a certain situation. It’s an issue that goes beyond the realm of words and accuracy and into the realm of identity. Of personal propaganda. Since moving to Germany I have often found myself posing the rather confounding question: Am I a different person in every language that I speak?

Continued on my debut Young Germany blog.

Alternatively, the entire problem of translation can be explained by and through Zero Wing. That’s right. I went there.

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Thursday April 03rd 2008, 9:25 pm 2 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,words, writing

2 Comments so far. Please leave a comment.

My favourite intranslatable is: sein innere Schweinhund überwinden – literally: to get over one’s inner pig-dog.

To kick your ass into gear?

Comment by ian in hamburg 04.04.08 @ 7:34 am

That zero wing is funny and scary at the same time :)

Comment by Haddock 04.06.08 @ 5:15 am




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