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Monday, October 13, 2014

Car Gram | Mistranslation Monday

A few weeks ago, the German boyfriend and I went to his biannual family reunion in the Austrian Alps. This reunion was quite different than when I went two years ago, mainly because of how much my German has improved over the past two years.

So, unlike last time, Marco's cousins no longer spoke English to me, and I was able to keep up with the Swabisch dialect begin thrown around pretty well.

One of the only times English was spoken the entire weekend was when we were testing Marco's youngest cousin, Dominik, on how well he could speak English.

He started off by asking me about living in Chicago and if I had ever met any celebrities. Soon, however, he asked me something I did not understand.

"Have you ever gotten a car gram?" he asked.

Luckily, another one of Marco's cousins (and Denglisch Master) Florian was able to translate "Car Gram" into what Dominik really meant: Autograph

Here is the logic that Dominik used:

Autogram = the German word for "autograph"

Auto = Car

Gram = Gram

Autogram = Car gram!

You certainly can't blame him with logic like that...

Oh, and here are a couple more pictures from where we stayed in the mountains:


  1. Gotta love those Schwäbisch accents! And I can't really fault logic like that either. Sounds like a good time with some stunning scenery!

  2. Nice logic, but I guess he was on the wood way with that one ;-)

  3. It definitely was! I am not sure I love those Schwäbisch accents though... :)

  4. Haha! I use "love" in a semi-sarcastic sense in this instance! I adore British and Scottish accents, but at least I already speak the same language. But thick accents in German are only "cute" when you can actually comprehend them! I prefer my hochdeutsch Rosetta Stone lessons when it actually comes to understanding what in the world is being said! :P

  5. I know what you mean :) And although we have worse weather up here in Northern Germany, I am very thankful that hochdeutsch is the local dialect.

  6. Um, wow, not a bad place for a family reunion!

    Love the logic there! Reminds me of some of some of the gems my students in Spain would come up with :)

  7. I know! The family reunions of my childhood in middle-of-nowhere Ohio definitely can't compare...

  8. I still need subtitles for some of the people at work! Swabian is a very hard dialect to love, and the ;-)

  9. Ooo, subtitles in real life would be so nice! Once we have smart glasses, then that would be the perfect app for us expats!

  10. Hahaha I just love that story. And go girl! It always feels so good to see noticable changes in your German. Of course, you must be a pro now if you can understand schwabisch!


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