“Man, Albanian is hard!” This I realised when, in preparation for my last holiday, I did what any self-respecting linguist would do before travelling abroad: practising to produce passable versions of the most basic phrases in the language of your destination country, safe in the knowledge that you are now able to say hello, explain that you are lost, and ask for the way – only to then immediately revert back to hands-and-feet communication, as your chances of ever understanding the helpful advice you are given gravitate towards zero. Continue reading “E bukura Shqiperi!”
This is a newly revised version of 12 mini posts which were first published on my old blog from September 2015 as a weekly series. Images are my own unless otherwise stated. Enjoy!
Berlin is often referred to as the “city that isn’t really Germany”. Here, I would like to share some of my favourite linguistic gems and absurdities from Berlin. Here goes…
Week 1: Hasenheide: “rabbit moor” [ˈhaːzɘnˈhaidə]
A spacious park in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg/Neukölln that has it all: green spaces, a petting zoo, crazy golf, playgrounds, a rose garden, an outdoor cinema, drug dealers (mostly harmless), a skate park, the legendary “Hasenschänke” where you can enjoy a Berliner beer or two or three – and a May funfair! Internet legend has it that it is called “rabbit moor” because back in the 17th century, the Great Elector Frederick William used the land as a breeding ground for hares. Today, hares are a rare sight and you are more likely to spot the odd red squirrel feasting on birthday party or BBQ leftovers.
Week 2: Hinterhaus: “rear house” [ˈhɪntɐhaus]
The bane of postmen all over Berlin. Berlin residential buildings often sport five storeys with three flats on each floor, and can have as many as two or three „rear houses“ attached to the main house (which, in turn, is called the „Vorderhaus“). The rear houses are accessed by entering through the front entrance or gate and typically crossing over a small courtyard. It gets hugely complicated when there are no doorbells or letterboxes outside the main entrance of the Hinterhaus you live in, as was the case at my place. Once, my flatmate and I found ourselves having to retrieve 3 DHL packages from a „trusted neighbour“ in the Vorderhaus (whom we had in fact never met before), left there by a postie too exasperated to try and find our Hinterhaus, never mind our actual flat. Continue reading “Berlin in 12 linguistic snippets”
The other day, quite by accident, I came across the Hashtag “earlyriser” on Twitter. More to the point, I connected with a fellow translator and saw his tweet about the benefits of getting up at 5.30 every morning. Far from being someone who believes in signs, I still found the notion did tie in with a lot of stuff I had watched or read lately about how to be content and mindful, more efficient and less stressed. So, let’s say I believe in a nudge when I see one. I decided to give it a go. After all, I am usually motivated enough to get up at the crack of dawn when faced with a tight deadline – mainly because I am not a night owl and my productivity tends to go out the window by dinner time. Plus, I had actively been looking for a way to keep on top of an increasingly ‘diverse’ schedule: the daily grind (obviously), finding and keeping more and interesting clients, doing a 6-week CPD course, getting more involved in my local community, improving my climbing, preparing to take on an allotment (inching up the waiting list at the moment), and still having plenty of quality time with my partner and friends. Continue reading “Rise and shine!”
„Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren“…
Was stimmt nicht mit dieser Anrede? Nichts, hätte ich noch vor knapp einem Jahr geantwortet. Was soll damit nicht in Ordnung sein?
Als Übersetzerin habe ich es schon immer als meine Aufgabe angesehen, mich bei der Form des Zieltextes nach den Wünschen des Kunden zu richten. Diese Wünsche dabei nach Möglichkeit mitzugestalten, betrachte ich als Sprachmittlerin geradezu als meine Pflicht. Bei Übersetzungen vom Englischen ins Deutsche habe ich bereits seit einiger Zeit versucht, immer eine – wie ich dachte – geschlechtergerechte Sprachverwendung sicherzustellen, indem ich entweder Doppelnennungen wie z. B. „Bürgerinnen und Bürger“ oder die Verwendung des „Binnen-I“ vorschlug („BürgerInnen“). Mal mehr, mal weniger erfolgreich natürlich. Je nach KundIn. Continue reading “Zum x-ten Mal: die deutsche Genderfrage”