Category Archives: Lost in Translation

US imports

I’m not sure if it can be categorized as a translation mistake because it looks like the name of this shop was decided upon in English.

Nail salons are relatively few and far between in Berlin; they appear to be an import from the US hence the name:  “The Nails of American” or just “The Nails” for short.


“Happy New” to you too

It may be mid-January officially but there are still plenty of well wishers out there with a “Happy New Year” greeting. In these parts, though, you will more likely hear “Happy New.” Well, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it in English as it does in German.

The German language may be infamous for its long words and equally long sentences, but even the Germans know that sometimes less is more. Why bother with “Frohes Neues Jahr” when “Frohes Neues” gets the point across just as well? Maybe the adjective ending gives it away or just the time of year, but either way there is really no doubt about how that greeting ends.

The same phrase in the English-speaking world may result in some strange looks as your conversational partner hangs onto your every word waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop. You have a few more days at least to get out there and wish someone a “Happy New” otherwise you’ll just have to wait until next year.

Freitag Fun: Bimbos fruit paradise

Would you buy fruit from a monkey named ‘Bimbo’? It may not be a translation mistake but it is definitely lost in translation. Perhaps this is only funny to me but it certainly got my attention. Found outside of the Jungfernheide S-bahn station in Berlin, May 2009. TGIF…