Tag Archives: language problems

News of the Weird

I picked up the Swedish paper this morning and had to ask myself, why is there a train full of virgins going to Moscow? After careful reading I finally realized that the report was about a train’s virgin voyage to Moscow. News is more interesting when I mis-translate.

Earlier in the week I was confused by the news report about problems with Christmas wolves.   First of all I didn’t know we had Christmas wolves here and second, what is the problem?  Are they stealing pies?  Knocking over snowmen?  What is the difference between regular wolves and Christmas wolves?  After all of this thought, I was informed that the word was not wolves (vargar) but roads (vägar).

Watch your language

I am usually very careful about the expressions I use around people who don’t have English as a first language, but I slipped up earlier this week.  A woman was asking me about our new apartment building and I told her it was nice, but it’s so new that they haven’t worked out all the bugs.

“Bugs??!!  Oh no, it’s a terrible problem with insects.  I can’t believe a new building like that has bugs!”

I tried to explain that I meant to say problems, but she seems set on the idea that our apartment is crawling with insects.  I guess she won’t be interested in coming over for tea.

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