Bulletin Board, excerpt

GAINING SOMETHING IN TRANSLATION

Excerpt from (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, May 7, 2004

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GAINING SOMETHING IN TRANSLATION Plus: Vive la difference?!



IGHGrampa: "The recent item by Fevered Rabbit reminded me of some German phrases from my own and my wife's childhoods. We're both products of German families from central North Dakota. Now, these phrases I am writing here are bad phonetic reproductions of Low-German spoken by the old folks there. So don't get out your German/English dictionaries and try to look the words up. You most likely won't find them.

"My wife remembers a little game played with small children. In it, the adult held the child's nose between thumb and forefinger and demanded: 'Vas Fressen Genz?' (What do geese eat?) The child was supposed to reply with: 'Huvva und schnae. Loss my noss gay.' (Barley and snow. Let my nose go.)

"My own and my brother's recollections are of phrases like 'Du hoses litches oof' (Your pants are open) and 'Gimmila vec!' (Get out of the way!)

"It's interesting to note the differences between things said to girls and things said to boys. Girls got cute little games. Boys got hard, practical advice."



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