Wednesday, December 14, 2005

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I sound very smart in German. Not so much in English.

A few months ago I gave an interview to Norweigan journalist Olav Anders Øvrebø on the politics of blogs in the United States. For those of you who understand German, it's now up at the Netzeitung web site. Among other things, I say:

Das Bloggen ist aber kein ausschließlich demokratisches Phänomen. Es ist einfacher bekannt zu werden, wenn man quasi offiziell zur Elite gehört, zum Beispiel als Professor. Aber das alleine reicht nicht. Man muss schreiben können, und das im Blog-Stil. Einige meiner Kollegen haben versucht zu bloggen, haben aber offenbar nicht verstanden, dass ein wissenschaftlicher Artikel als Blog-Eintrag nicht funktioniert. Man braucht einen guten Stil - und man muss bereit sein, Fehler einzuräumen und zu korrigieren.
[Wow, sounds very erudite. What does it mean?--ed.] Well, translated through Babelfish:
The Bloggen is however none excluding democratic phenomenon. It is more simply admits to become, if one belongs quasi officially to the elite, for example than professor. But that alone is not enough. One must be able to write, and in the Blog style. Some my colleagues it have tried to bloggen, however obviously did not understand that a scientific article does not function as Blog entry. One needs a good style - and one must be ready to grant and correct errors
[That sounds.... less erudite--ed.] Readers are encoraged to find the sentence in the interview that sounds the most ridiculous when re-translated into English.

posted by Dan on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM


how could anything sound more ridiculous than the translated german sentence:

"It is a point of honor for me to participate in the pipeline project."

oh, sorry, that wasn't you, it was the new man at gazprom.

as you were!

posted by: jonathanriley on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

my first sex teacher

posted by: baby on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

It actually means:
However, to blog is not the ultimate democratic phenomenon. It is easier to become renown, when one belongs almost officially to the elite, for instance as a professor. But this is not enough. One has to know how to write, and this, in blog style. Some of my colleagues have tried to blog, but probably have not understood that a scientific article does not work as a blog entry. One needs a good style, and one must be ready to acknowledge errors and to correct them.

posted by: Giovanni Ciriani on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

I assisted in editing a law review in a past life - what you said sounds remarkably like an article I had to go through once by Jurgen Habermas. And they didn't grant you tenure at UofC ?? Scheiss, man.

posted by: yomama on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

It's especially funny if you put on a Mel Brooks voice when you read "to bloggen". From the Yiddish, of course.

posted by: Kelli on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

"Blog-Stil" ist sowieso das scheusslichste Wort im ganzen Beitrag.

posted by: Doug on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

"Bloggen" sounds more Norwegian than German.

posted by: Zathras on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

Actually, the German version sounds not very erudite: A lack of verbs in a sea of nouns. Lots of low quality expressions. "Man braucht einen guten Stil" was not heeded by your translator.

posted by: AC on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

I'm in Germany now. I had babelfish translate a web page for a spa. It explained that the sauna was great for "mixed sow hubs". Don't know what that is, but it sounds kinky.

posted by: Dude on 12.14.05 at 08:45 PM [permalink]

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