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Monday, May 26, 2014

Mistranslation Monday: Sober

The German boyfriend shares an office with a pregnant coworker. When he came home from work the other day, he was telling me about how she has to get some extra blood tests done soon.
"That must be really stressful," I said.

"Yeah, she also has to be sober for the the tests," Marco responded.

"...I would hope she is sober anyways. She is pregnant," I said cautiously.

"Wait, what? What does sober mean?"
After talking it over, we realized that German has the same word for both sober and fasting (nüchtern). So, no worries, his pregnant coworker is not drunk all the time.

Do you know a word that can be translated in two different ways, with each resulting in a very different meaning?

9 comments:

  1. Interesting! I had no idea the words were the same. Definitely a little awkward...

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    1. Yeah, I didn't know they were the same either until this little mishap!

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  2. If you're talking about so called "false friends", I had to learn that "irritierend" does not translate as "irritating". The hard way...

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  3. And speaking of "false friends," a "falscher Freund" in German is also a fart that requires one to change his pants afterwards...! :-)

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    1. Well that's something I didn't know! (not that it is something I needed to know...)

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  4. Thanks for the post! I read it and then just a day or two later I was told on the phone that I needed to show up for my doctor's appointment "nüchtern" -- and I didn't have to wonder what that had to do with being sober! :)

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    1. Haha! I am glad that my post could help you out!

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  5. Haha yep my boyfriend and I have the same fun mishaps :-p one time i said sarcastically "oh that's so cheesy." (As in lame) and he goes "what is this cheese you refer to?" I'm like "no honey- cheesy as in corny"....I think I confused him more and he speaks excellent English lol

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    1. Hahah! Yeah, explaining the word "cheesy" with the word "corny" probably wasn't the best idea. I just said that to my German boyfriend and he said he knows what cheesy means but not corny.

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