Saturday, January 30, 2010
At a German restaurant last night, there was a copy of "German World" Magazine on the table in the waiting area where you could enjoy a German beer or glass of German wine while waiting to be seated at a table under portraits of Marx and Lenin. I hadn't known that this magazine existed, nor did I know that Sandra Bullock (featured on its cover) is half-German and (according to the interview) actively seeking German citizenship, to honor her mother. The interview (like everything else in the magazine) was printed in German on one half of the page, and in English on the other. The English had clearly been translated from German, and while this makes sense (apparently Sandy B is fluent and no doubt answered the questions in German) the English translations of her answers had a hilarious stilted quality. "I love my husband because he accepts me as I am, even when I awaken in the morning looking as if the dog had gnawed on my hair." There was also a great review of Inglorious Basterds in which the author commented on how the Germans in the film were amazingly well-educated and eloquent, while the Americans were "ignorant dolts." It almost seemed like a parody of German-ness, like Sprockets, circa SNL 1989, and I was sure that something had been lost in translation. But then, after we were finally seated, Matt asked the waiter whether he liked the sea bass special featured on the menu, and the waiter replied, "Sea bass has a good texture." Yes, but is it good?
Posted by Malena Watrous at 9:52 PM