Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nothing sucks like an Electrolux

So in my German class we were discussing phrases that don't travel well and false cognates (definition #2) and last night we had Ursula over for a cruse reunion (OK, so it was just Ursula, Grandma, Aunt Eileen, Mom, Dad, and me; and I didn't even go on the cruse.) and I decided to share these phrases that don't travel well and some false cognates. Chevrolet tried to market their car the Chevy Nova in Spanish speaking countries. (No va means doesn't go in Spanish.) Electrolux (a European vacuum company) marketed their vacuums in the US with the slogan "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux." Kentucky Fried Chicken tried to market their chicken globaly and their slogan "Finger lickin' good" often translated to "So good you'll eat your fingers off."

False cognates are also funny, but they are a lot funnier when you consider the confusion that might ensue when a German and an American meet. (The bolded words are in German and the italicized words are the English translations.) kahl means bald while bald means soon. schnell means fast while fast means almost. Stein means rock while Rock means skirt. Geschenk means gift while Gift means poison. Rathaus does not mean rat house, but instead means city hall. One interesting thing is that in German nouns are always capitolized.

8 comments:

Joanne said...

"I feel the earth shake, under my feet..." Who wrote this blog??? It was pretty funny, Brent. Brent also suggested another good name for his blog might be, "So!" But how would you write that like he always says it?? (We need help from a speech pathologist on that one.) Grandma has and electrolux and it just sucks my breath away-it's been working for a hundred years!

Tamara Robertson said...

Does that mean Grandma's vacuum is not good for ashmatics?

That's a funny post, Brent. Shared it with my roommates at school. We all got a kick out of it!

Tamara Robertson said...

asthmatics

Jack Turner said...

I love language!1 I also want to know who wrote this post, complete with a link inside the text and replete with all kinds of formatting.

Have I told you about my mission friend who quoted John 14:6 as "Yo soy el camiĆ³n, la verdad y la vida..." (I am the semitruck, the truth and the life...)?

Tamara Robertson said...

That's pretty funny! I told the girls that story and they all laughed! I am the semitruck.... lol

Austin's Mommy said...

That was a great post, Brent. Very funny. What is your major?

Brent said...

I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering (and I'm planning on minoring in Physics and Computer Science).

jocelyn the elder said...

I am curious about being able to read any word, even if misspelled, if the first and last letters of the word are in their correct positions.

I am guessing ALL the inbetween letters need to be included but in any order.

Enjoyed your cognate, etc descriptions. G'ma C