A Translator’s Daily Prayer (!)

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Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 am PST.

God help me to consider my customers feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

God help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they’re usually NOT my fault.

God, help me to not try to run everything. But, if You need some help, please feel free to ask me!

Lord, help me to be more laid back, and help me to do it EXACTLY right.

God, help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter, parties, and dancing.

God, give me patience, and I mean right NOW!

Lord, help me not be a perfectionist. (Did I spell that correctly?)

God, help me to finish everything I sta

God, help me to do only what I can, and trust you for the rest.

(And would you mind putting that in writing?)

Lord, keep me open to others’ ideas, WRONG though they may be.

Lord, help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.

Lord, help me follow established procedures today.

On second thought, I’ll settle for a few minutes.

Lord, help me slow down

andnotrushthroughwhatIdo.

Amen.

Proverbial Nonsense / Sprichwörtlicher Unsinn

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Click on the image to enlarge

Proverbs are short and popular sayings, which are in widespread use and express a basic truth.

Usually proverbs are of unknown origin and are often metaphorical.

Proverbs exist in all languages, although when translated they often make little or no sense.

Here are some examples of German sayings translated into English:

  • Jemandem auf den Keks gehen (to get on somebody’s nerves) = to walk somebody on the cookie
  • Aus allen Wolken fallen (to be taken by surprise) = to fall from all the clouds
  • Schwamm drüber (no hard feelings) = sponge over
  • Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof (it’s all Greek to me) = I only understand train-station
  • Mit ihm ist nicht gut Kirschen essen (He’s not an easy man to deal with) = it’s not good eating cherries with him
  • Man kann nicht über seinen eigenen Schatten springen (a leopard can’t change his spots) = you can’t jump over your own shadow
  • Trautes Heim, Glück allein (home, sweet home) = cozy home, luck alone

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sprichwörter sind kurze und beliebte Sprüche, die in allgemeine Benutzung sind und eine Grundwahrheit ausdrücken.

Normalerweise sind die Ursprünge von Sprichwörtern unbekannt und oft sind sie metaphorisch.

Sprichwörter existieren in alle Sprachen, obwohl wenn übersetzt, ergeben sie oft wenig oder gar keinen Sinn.

Hier sind einige  Beispiele von deutschen Sprüchen, die ins Englisch übersetzt wurden:

  • Jemandem auf den Keks gehen (jemand zu nerven) = to walk somebody on the cookie
  • Aus allen Wolken fallen (sich völlig überraschen) = to fall from all the clouds
  • Schwamm drüber (Vergiss es!/Lass es doch!) = sponge over
  • Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof (ich verstehe gar nichts) = I only understand train-station
  • Mit ihm ist nicht gut Kirschen essen (es ist nicht einfach ihm zu behandeln) = it’s not good eating cherries with him
  • Man kann nicht über seinen eigenen Schatten springen (man kann nicht die Persönlichkeit ändern) = you can’t jump over your own shadow
  • Trautes Heim, Glück allein (das Heim ist den besten Ort) = cozy home, luck alone

The Voice of Seuss

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Raise your hand if you think language is fun? …Seriously guys, I’m the only one with my hand in the air here… This is awkward.

Although he’s no longer with us, I believe that if Theodor Seuss Geisel was here today he would be the first to agree with me. You’re probably wondering who this Mr. Geisel is. Well I’ll give you a clue:

He’s a man who loves Green Eggs and Ham, is friends with the Grinch and Horton, and has a Cat who wears a Hat.

Yes, you’ve guessed it- Theodor Geisel was best known under his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

I’m pretty sure most people have heard of Dr. Seuss and, if you’re anything like me, the first thing you’ll think of when you hear his name is colourful droopy drawings and fun characters. However many of his books also contain much deeper messages and morals on social and political issues (Click on the above picture for some examples).

Here’re just a few of his great sayings and links to some of his poems:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple”

“Being crazy ins’t enough”

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them”

“A person’s a person, no matter how small” (I particularly like this one, as I myself am not exactly the tallest!)

http://cat-the-hat.blogspot.de/2009/02/cat-in-hat-poem-on-aging.html

http://papahere.com/about-blog/poetry-of-dr-seuss/

http://bloggingmis.blogspot.de/2009/04/dr-seuss-poems.html

Contra to popular belief, I’m still alive!

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I must apologise for the lack of blog-activity as of late. I’m sure you were all anxious wondering where I had disappeared off to.

*silence*

Oh… you weren’t actually worried about my whereabouts at all… hmm, well then.

Anyway, disappointment aside ~I kid of course~ I’m back! I don’t know what happened me lately, I just couldn’t think  of anything to write about. I feel like a bad blogger, or does this happen to other people aswell?

Today I came across an article that I liked and as I was thinking to myself, “Who would appreciate this article?”, I thought of you guys! I mean this is (supposed to be) a language blog after all!

So here it is: 14 Words That Are Their Own opposites 🙂 (#6. is my favourite!)

Enjoy!

 

P.S. did you know that the term used to describe a word that can be its own opposite is called a contranym or auto-antonym? Well now you do! 🙂

And then she wrote…

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Another very quickly thrown-together poem. I promise I’ll try harder next time.

As always, x

No feeling is greater

Than a pen nestled snuggly between one finger

And the next

Whether its purpose is for doodling

Taking notes

Or simply writing text

A sturdy object

Elegant yet strong

It writes

Takes no notice

Of brightest days

Or darkest nights

Is there to jot down

Ideas, thoughts

And still

Must never be recharged

But works gladly

At your will

The pen is humble

Never asks for much

Is grateful merely

Of its owner’s touch

One day it will stop

Abrupt mid-word

And die

Then to the unassuming pen

We must sign

Our last goodbye.

Sounds like…

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The German language is not exactly renowned for sounding romantic. It is actually renowned for sounding the exact opposite: unromantic.

My work colleagues and I went out last night, and this topic came up in conversation.
Colleague #1: “So, how do you find the German language to speak?”
Me: “It’s not easy… there are a lot of difficult sounds to try and master”
Colleague #2: “Like what?”
Me: “Well, you’ve got the shhh, zzzz, cchhh, tssss and *general guttural sound*”
Colleagues #1 and #2: *look at each other and then start laughing*
Colleague #1: “Oh my goodness, you’re right! And those sounds come up all the time in German. In some words you even have a few of those sounds put together- that must be really hard!”
Me: *nodding emphatically* “YES!! It is hard! Like trying to pronounce… eh…”

And that was it. I couldn’t think of any words! How pathetic is that? I struggle most days with German words that I cannot pronounce, and yet when it comes to giving an example of one measly tongue-twister, I am utterly stumped!

However, since then I have thought of several and I am also looking for more suggestions from you guys out there. Here are just some I’ve come across:

Streichholzschächtelchen (little box of matches*)
Ausschließlich (exclusively)
Schlittschuhlaufen (skating)
Eichhörnchen (squirrel)
Geschwächt (weak)
And even the very basic
Szene (scene)

*By the way, before anyone gets all “Ooh, but how often do you need to say ‘little box of matches’ in German, really?”, I know it’s not something you’re going to need to say every day, I was just including it for the purpose of demonstration.

Also here are just two links pertaining to Germany and the German language itself, which I find very funny ~No disrespect intended, it’s just a bit of fun~
Sarah Chalke (Elliot from Scrubs) speaking German
Dylan Moran on Germany

Bis später!

Another Eggscuse for Chocolate

*drool*

*drool*

*WARNING: this post will contain numerous Easter puns (see the above blog title), all in very poor taste. It is your job, as dedicated readers, to A.) Find all of these puns and B.) Add your own ones in the ‘comments’ section below. Eggstreme dedication and patience required*

Easter is just around the corner and we all know that means one thing: Easter eggs! Eggsciting stuff, right? That’s right, Tesco (American version = Fresh & Easy, I think) are offering their ever-tempting deal of 2 eggs for €3 (I’m not working out the dollar/ any other currency rate) and I plan on scrambling to the store and taking advantage of this offer when I am home (I’m flying home tomorrow night for a few days over Easter… but more about that in tomorrow’s blog!).

Anyhoo, as I was saying… Easter! Basically, if you’ve been living under a rock for the last few hundred centuries, then Easter is celebrated at the end of Lent in memory of Jesus’ death and resurrection. More recently though, the tradition has become a lot more commercialized (hasn’t everything?) and the notion of Easter eggs has gradually seeped into multiple cultures. In Ireland, for example, the Easter eggs that we have come in an eggscellent range of sizes; small, medium, large (you get the gist!). In Germany, I’ve noticed that the eggs seem to be much smaller (but I could be wrong, that’s just what I’ve observed from my time spent shopping in Aldi).

Personally, I love Easter eggs, because for some uneggsposed reason the chocolate they use for the eggs tastes absolutely AMAZING and WAY better than it does for the rest of the year (even though I’m presuming it’s the same chocolate that they use… odd!). And yes, before you ask: I am a self-confessed chocoholic (Dairymilk and Galaxy are my favourites!)

But I’m not actually writing this blog post to inform you about my eggstra strong love for chocolate. I’m actually here to tell you a little bit about how Easter is celebrated in some other countries, because what is life without diversity! So here we go:

*Sidenote- This is, of course, just a very tiny sample of some Easter customs, as I am not an eggspert in this area. Please feel free to add traditions from your own country/ any other countries whose traditions you know of. I like to learn about new places! Thank you *

Germany- is regarded as the birthplace of modern day Easter icons like the Easter bunny and the Easter tree. Children in Germany have to find eggs and chocolates hidden by the Easter bunny (Osterhase) on Easter Sunday. Other traditions include baking lamb-shaped cakes and hanging painted eggs from the Easter tree with colourful ribbon.

France- incorporates the Easter Fish and Flying Bells into its Easter festivities. On April 1st, as an April Fool’s Day trick, the children try and stick a paper fish onto the backs of as many adults as possible. The Flying Bells (Cloche volant) symbolize the mourning of Christ and are rung on Easter Sunday morning to bring chocolate and eggs to the children.

Russia- participates in the tradition of decorating the Easter eggs. Eggs are usually painted red, to symbolize Christ’s blood. The family dinner is also a very important part of Easter in Russia. Cakes known as kulich (кулич) are baked and families play games with the eggs, such as smashing two boiled eggs off each other and seeing which one breaks.

Hungary- does things a little differently! A bucket of water is poured onto a woman of the Palóc minority on Sunday and Monday. The woman wears her traditional clothing while she has the water thrown at her.

Norway- also cherishes an interesting tradition. Not only do they carry around pieces of bread in their pockets on Holy Saturday, but there is the belief that all murders will be solved at Easter and so detective films are usually shown on the television and magazines publish crime stories.

And that’s Easter in a nut shell… or should I say in an egg shell! (Oh c’mon, someone had to say it!) I look forward to hearing any other egg-related puns you may have to offer, but please remember- try to be original with them, we’re trying to crack people up here!

As always, hugs xo

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