Monday, July 16, 2012

10 random mashup challenges to begin with

challenge n° 4: Literal translation

There is this one story, that explains the hassle of literal translations perfectly. A couple years ago, my husband, my daughter and I went on vacation to Elba, an adorable island in the Tuscan archipelago. Long days on the beach, the air smelling of salt, and many aperitivi at the beach bar. One night we go for dinner at a little restaurant close to our campsite. Obviously, the menu is in Italian, so I have to translate it for my man. Now, in German there is only one word for two very different things: Krebs can mean crabs or it can mean cancer. So, at a certain point, my husband stares at me in bewilderment, saying: “I knew you Europeans were strange, but that seems a little over the top...” It took me some time to realize, that he didn't specifically like the idea of eating at a place where they served “cancer pasta”.

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