Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daily Story 129 - The Joys of Translating

I once read an article talking about the Volkswagen with the kid dressed up as Darth Vader. Apparently since Vader's based off of Hitler and the term 'Volkswagen' is something Hitler came up with, that means Volkswagen was praising Hitler or something. Which got me wondering, do people realize just how generic the name 'Volkswagen' really is? What about all those other things from his time? Let's take a look at how some of these terms translate, shall we?

Volkswagen: people's car

Autobahn: highway (literal: car path)

Führer: captain or leader (could be a scout leader, too)

Lebensraum: living space

Mein Kampf: my fight

Reich: empire or realm (also an adjective meaning rich)

Sieg Heil: victory hail

So I guess what we can see here is that there is nothing all that interesting or unique about these terms unless you translate them into German. That makes me wonder if this ever happens:

German dude 1: So I just got into my people's car and rode down the highway to meet with my son's scout leader, but he couldn't talk for long since he was going to look at an apartment since his wife is pregnant and they need more living space than what they have.

German dude 2: Aw, that sucks. So how's the custody battle coming along?

German dude 1: Not so great. It'd be a lot easier if I were rich, then maybe I could afford a lawyer, but right now, it's my fight and nobody-

American who's just passing by: OH MY GOD THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT HITLER

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