4 Aug 2008

FUN MONDAY - WORDS



Mothers of Brothers idea for this week is :

Tell us about your favorite word… or if you can’t pick just one, tell us about a few. Are there certain words that feel good the way they roll of your tongue? Do some words make you feel smart? Or silly? Or happy? Which words do you find yourself selecting to put in your posts?

It is impossible for me to have one favourite word or even words. It all depends in which language I speak or write. Some words I use in English I couldn't use in French or German and the other way around because it would have no meaning. Translations like Google and other computer Translators do are too funny to me, because it is impossible most of the time to understand the text, they translate word by word and that makes no sense and what comes out is hilarious.

One bad translation sometimes can become a catastrophe. After WW II the German population badly needed cereals to make flour for bread. In German the general word is Korn. An American translator translated then Korn by corn and that the german population needed corn flour. What happened ? Tons of corn were shipped to Germany and the bread was not only yellow ! I know this story from my aunt who worked as a translator for the American administration in Germany after the war.

From one language to another words have often different meanings or are used differently, so I am unable to say which word I use more often then another. But one word you can translate in all languages without fear to be wrong, that's the word LOVE. (Amour, Liebe, Amore)

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"Ten Commandants ? Surely there is some mistake my Lord !"

18 comments:

Jan said...

Yes, translatings can be tricky. As an avid reader, I can atest to it. I love the examples you included. Great post.

Alison said...

Love seems to be very popular for this one...and rightly so.

I agree, some translations are hilarious.

amanda said...

Yup, I'm with you on the love theme this week too :)

Cruise Mom said...

I teach English for speakers of other language classes, and we have a fun time with translation software. I'm always looking for good examples of things that don't translate quite right!

And you caught my technical difficulty - but my post is up now! Thanks for visiting!

Pamela said...

I have laughed heartily at some of the words our foreign visitors have used. But not at them... because I so admire people who speak more than one language. I can't imagine how I would butcher another language. When I took some spanish classes I know I made the teacher laugh out loud.

Mar said...

Wonderfully explained, Gattina!! I admire translators and most of all, the interpreters, that's a tough job.

yes, all we need is love!
(and a blog!)
Cheers and happy Monday, off to do laundry: the in-laws just left.

Melli said...

LOL! You are a stitch! (translates to FUNNY!) Maybe this is why I never learned another language! I have a hard enough time keeping English straight!

Irish Coffeehouse said...

Great post and so very true! Love is love no matter the language. :)

jennifer said...

Once I told a Spanish guy I was going to make myself scarce (leave the apartment) and when my college friend asked where I was, Jose said "She is making scars on herself." My favorite example of meaning that is lost in translation. Great Korn example, wonderful cartoon, excellent word, "love."
Thanks for participating - we look forward to reading more from you!

lisaschaos said...

My husband laughs at the word for word translations too! He's from Honduras and speaks Spanish as well as English. He ends up translating a lot of his companies posters. His sister was a translator for the army, but now she works for the FBI.

Love is a perfect word!

Molly said...

Thank you sharing your observations about translations. Although I have studied different languages, I lack the knowledge to fully understand certain nuances of each language.

Great cartoon.

Sauntering Soul said...

My boyfriend is from Brazil and taught himself English when he moved here about 5 years ago. Sometimes he says stuff that absolutely cracks me up. But don't worry, I only crack up on the inside. He has asked me to correct him when he makes mistakes and I do so nicely and laugh aloud later when I'm alone and thinking about it.

Hootin' Anni said...

That is one perfect Fun Monday Gattina. And you're so right on this. So many words are mistranslated in other languages. There is wheat flour and corn flour. Corn flour would make yellow dough for sure. Wheat [unbleached and natural in its form is brown...you'd get a light brown dough while bleached flour would make the bread dough white]

And there is a word for you, flour or flower?!!

Great post.

DianeCA said...

All you need is love!!! (dobedobedo all you need is love..) sorry beatles moment!

I know what you mean about translating as I run into it all the time between English and Norwegian. The hardest part is that some words are important in Norwegian and have no counterpart in English, and vice versa...so good translations are hard to find....however even I could translate korn!!!!

Tiggerlane said...

How odd that today I posted a video by the group "Korn!" And "love" is popular today - as it should be!

Robocop said...

Another vote for love. Funny cartoon btw.

claudie said...

If I know you speak english, german, italian and french languages, that makes a lot of words! Toi au moins tu peux comparer! I am sure english teachers or others have funny time when they read a translation of their pupils who used translators very often!!

grace said...

that's my word too, LOVE