April 28th, 2009

bullwinkle

A problem in translation

All translation is a negotiation among various compromises. Some things are hard to express in another language. Some idioms don't translate at all; at least, they don't make sense when translated into the equivalent words. Here is a wonderful German poem centered upon a grammatical joke. It is impossible to translate fully; however, "an approach" was made by changing the monster from one kind to another. This allows for an English grammatical joke of the same sort the German original relies upon. See for yourself.

Der Werwolf

Ein Werwolf eines Nachts entwich
von Weib und Kind und sich begab
an eines Dorfschullehrers Grab
and bat ihn: Bitte, beuge mich!

Der Dorfschulmeister stieg hinauf
auf seines Blechschilds Messingknauf
und sprach sum Wolf, der seine Pfoten
geduldig kreuzte for dem Toten:

"Der Werwolf," -- sprach der gute Mann,
"des Weswolfs, Genetiv sodann,
dem Wemwolf, Dativ, wie man's nennt,
den Wenwolf, -- damit hat's ein End'."

Dem Werwolf schmeichelten die Fälle,
er rollte seine Augenbälle.
Indessen, bat er, füge doch
zur Einzahl auch die Mehrzahl noch!

Der Dorfschulmeister aber mußte
gestehn, dass er von ihr nichts wußte.
Zwar Wölfe gäb's in großer Schar,
doch 'Wer' gäb's nur im Singular.

Der Wolf erhob sich tränenblind --
er hatte ja doch Weib und Kind!
Doch da er kein Gelehrter eben,
so schied er dankend und ergeben.

-- C. Morgenstern


The BansheeCollapse )
very angry

Chalk this one up to experience

Well, it took half of bloody forever, and cost $305 extra, but I finally got my flight to Colorado Springs fixed.

I had apparently bought a flight (w/car package) that got me into Colorado Springs at 10:30 in the evening, thinking I was arriving at 10:30 in the morning. Now, I have to leave at 6:45 a.m., and will arrive about 8:30 a.m., but at least I haven't lost a whole day on this lightning trip.

And after listening to Canon in D on hold for longer than the human mind can endure, all I can say is, "I hate Pachelbel."