Brushes with Culture

This is a space where I can reflect on the many fascinating things that I experience. Some of the things I brush with are Culture with a capital C. Others are just intriguing moments. Sometimes I am brushing with these moments in a hurry. This is a chance to relive those moments in tranquility. These are the stories I tell myself in those quieter moments.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Very Silly Things with translating German

Der Kaspar, der war kerngesund.
Ein dicker Bub und kugelrund.

So starts the story of Suppen Kaspar who stopped eating his soup and withered away and died. And we are in a German speaking country so odd snippets are jumping into my head.

What words! 'Kugelrund' (round as a ball), obviously meant for someone who got fat on icecream. And 'kerngesund', which I translated as 'healthy as a kernel'. And which descended absurdly fast to 'healthy as a colonel'. Which was fun. But actually it means 'healthy to the core'.

Food caused further room of facetiousness when we ate a soup ('cos we did eat our soup and rather more) and it happened to be described as 'weiss Truffel and Kartoffelschaum', which can be translated as 'white truffel and potato scum'. Another word for potato in German is 'Erdapfel', which means 'earth apple' and so we get 'scum of the earth apple'. I'm pleased with that.

And yet more when we visited the Museum für Musikautomaten, which very easily shortens to "Musik Tomaten" if you don't listen carefully. Music tomatoes... And one of the finest museums I've ever visited.


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