post thumbnail

Eine wörtlicheÜbersetzung

Today I’m proud to present the most recent blog from our blog contest winner Emma Wilberforce:

The UK is a great place to find inspiration for anything to do with language. There are so many people from all over the world and I challenge you to walk through a city and not hear more than one language spoken. Therefore, it is only natural that some people are more proficient in English than others. Getting to know people from other countries is just like making friends with anyone else. But there is the added bonus that when you hear something you don’t expect in conversation. It makes a great talking point. Here’s a handpicked example from my own experience.

Studying between the shelves

I was speaking to my friend from Germany the other day, talking about workload, when she came out with, “I was studying between the shelves in the library.” “Hang on, a second”, I said. “What did you just say?” Turns out it was a literal translation of the German phrase: Ich sasszwischen den Regalen in der Bibliothek.

It made me think what I would have said in her situation if I had been describing the location of where I was working in the library. Is ‘studying between the shelves’ an appropriate way of putting it? Or would we have to go the long way around and say “I was working at a table which was in between the bookshelves”? Unless it was vitally important that someone knew exactly where you were or you were referring to that specific place. I don’t think the bookshelves or table would come into things. A simple “I was working in the library,” would probably serve the purpose very well.

The same friend also told me that German has a similar phrase ‘Ich sass zwischen all demAlkohol in der Cocktailbar‘. Which she was keen to point out does not mean you were sitting between the alcohol, but rather that you were sitting in a bar where lots of alcohol was displayed!

Funny how we pick up on little things that don’t really alter our understanding of what is being conveyed. They still sound strange to the English ear! Makes you wonder whether we have any interesting phrases which provide amusement to speakers of other languages.

In the meantime maybe it’s best to let the Germans sit between the shelves in the library while we remain baffled.

disney-institute-lingua-translations 178 × 75
amazon-lingua-translations 120 × 28
procter-gamble - Lingua Translations 114 × 92
london-partners-lingua-translations 154 × 101
Swansea City | Lingua Translations 154 x 146
Man City | Lingua Translations 154 × 154
FC_Barcelona_(crest) 154 × 156
Star_Wars_Logo.svg_-1 1280 × 773
FiFA | lingua Translations 154 × 86
The-Score 232x120
M & S 271 × 186
Walmart-Lingua Translations 232 × 65
Welsh Government & Lingua Translations 400 × 400
Costco & Lingua Translations 232 × 155


TUI-Group Testimonial 205 × 46 EN

Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

Do you know how many different languages Ed Sheeran has sung in?

It’s no secret that Ed Sheeran wrote his latest album while traveling the world and soaking up different cultures and styles of music. But he went further than that. He also isn’t afraid to delve into the world of languages either. What’s most impressive is his commitment to getting the foreign lyrics and their pronunciation …

Read More

International French Fries Day

Today is one of the best day of the year: the international French Fries Day. But let’s find out something about most people’s favourite guilty pleasure. Apparently, French fries are not French at all. Their origin can be tracked back to Belgium, where potatoes were allegedly being fried in the late-1600s. The legend says that …

Read More
Get a quote today