Deborah’s difficult words


May 29, 2015 by helenwaldron

“Big improvement. Well done.”

These were the four words (with a big red heart) on Writewell’s latest postcard.

Deborah traced the heart with her finger, an expression of obvious dislike on her face.

“Can you help me?” she asked. “You have a way with words.”

“I have indeed,” confirmed Speakeasy.

“When’s she coming back, then?” asked Deborah pinning the latest postcard on the notice board with the others.

“Beginning of July,” answered Speakeasy.

“And who’s “the immortal J.L.” anyway?” she snorted with disgust, as she read Writewell’s previous postcard.

“You’d better not let Writewell hear you say that,” laughed Speakeasy. “She’s the biggest Beatles fan going. You know. At the end of their last concert.”

“Oh,” replied Deborah blankly. If she did know she wasn’t letting on.

“Anyway, I was hoping you would help me,” she went on, looking into her rucksack (or backpack, or knapsack or …) and pulling out a sheath of papers.

“You know I’ve been trying to get more translation work recently, but I’m having trouble with this marketing text.

“How do you translate words like spezial (special) and sonder (special) and super (very) without sounding silly? How do you translate Super-Spezial-Sonderangebot? Very special special offer? Here’s another one Spezial-Sonderheft. Special special edition? And then it says the product has a special special function, specially developed to increase user friendliness.”

“Ah, but that last one’s speziell,” nodded Speakeasy. “That means “dedicated”, “function-driven.”  But I do agree with you. Marketing people can be a bit speziell too. “

“Dedicated to madness, you mean?”

“Allerdings!” smiled Speakeasy.


2 thoughts on “Deborah’s difficult words

  1. Richi says:

    This was very special, Helen!


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Helen Waldron

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Teachers as Workers

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