Off topic: I want your personal weird words
Thread poster: Ricki Farn

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 10:49
Member (2005)
English to German
Jun 23

Do translators have stronger tendencies towards developing an idiolect than your average Joe and Jill?

I keep making up new terms such as
- white flyflakes: the things that make poplar trees so un-poplar
- squirrel alzheimer's: the act of putting something away in a safe place and never finding it again
- six-sided holes on a stick: a set of wrenches/spanners

What is your very own made-up terminology?


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
It's just you :-) Jun 23

Well in our family we sometimes call cats nuzzies and padded shirts are barnies and my grandad insisted on calling a menu a meenu, but we're not all translators...

I suspect we're actually less likely to, because we're used to finding out and using the correct words for things!


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:49
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
From other languages too Jun 23

Since I had to do physiotherapy for a broken arm in Sweden in 1973, physiotherapy (sjukgimnastik in Swedish) has always been "sick gymnastics" in our family.

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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 10:49
Member (2005)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Import-export Jun 23

Oooh yes, import-export is fun! Just say "biting off more than you can chew" in any other language but English and watch the reactions.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
*Sjukgymnastik (for the record) Jun 23

We also talk about having a cow in the ditch. Apparently it's Finnish for having a vested interest.

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Aleksandra Muraviova  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:49
Member (Jan 2017)
Japanese to Russian
+ ...
Geschäftschaftheitkeitung Jun 23

I wonder if a monstrosity in the title would fit the demand, hihi.
A quadruple feminine Frankenstein monster I once invented during my German studies for the sake of mnemonics, which I now use as a kind of a tongue twister to prepare my speech apparatus for German (because the other option is saying 55, and I really have no idea how Germans manage to pronounce that).

I also use the Geschäftschaftheitkeitung as a standard reply to "Oh, you learn German? Say something!"

[Edited at 2017-06-23 19:38 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree Jun 23

We are not taking words/sentences seriously enough. We should be banned as linguists! The world is making a big mistake by relying on us for all the serious text material out there.

Just joking, of course! I hope, however, that it is OK that I do not add my examples here. They are so absolutely fantastic that I want to keep them just for my own secret enjoyment!


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
In which language? Jun 24

Ricki Farn wrote:

Do translators have stronger tendencies towards developing an idiolect than your average Joe and Jill?

I keep making up new terms such as
- white flyflakes: the things that make poplar trees so un-poplar
- squirrel alzheimer's: the act of putting something away in a safe place and never finding it again
- six-sided holes on a stick: a set of wrenches/spanners

What is your very own made-up terminology?


You forgot to mention that, although I already see a German and a Swedish/Finnish entry.

[Edited at 2017-06-24 00:13 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-06-24 00:15 GMT]


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Mirja Maletzki  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:49
Korean to German
+ ...
Schnackfug Jun 24

I like to say "Schnackfug" which is a mixture of Schnickschnack and Unfug.

I also enjoy using unusual combinations... for example, when I don't know where to put a cup or a plate in someone else's home, I like to ask "Where does the cup/plate live?"


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 10:49
Member (2005)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
@Robert Jun 24

In whatever language you're thinking in at the time.

For this thread, an English version or explanation is friendly, but the question whether translators are more (or less, Chris S?!) inclined to use words as play dough isn't language specific.


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 10:49
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
similar afflictions Jun 24

I have started to use names of real persons as expressions.
For example, when I play tennis and hit a ball out, I'll say "Garefrekes!" (which is the name of a female German soccer player and does not make any sense), or when something mysterious happens, I'll say "Kurt Waldheim!".


On a related note, I like to translate silly German sayings literally into French (which I learned in school for about three years only and don't really speak at all) and then loudly profess them in weird fake french tonalities.
Example:
"On se peut fait avec nous oui!" ("Mit uns kann man's ja machen.")


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:49
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Mnemonics Jun 24

When I first learned Russian, I used all sorts of weird images to help me remember words. For example, the Russian for direction finder is пеленгатор (pelengator), which I thought of as a pellingator - a cross between a penguin and an alligator:

Pellingator

For some reason this helped me remember what a пеленгатор is.

[Edited at 2017-06-24 09:30 GMT]


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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:49
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Beckies! Jun 24

My friend teaches French at school and I tried to convince her that the English long time ago have adopted from the French the word "bequilles" for crutches, but it would now sound like "beckies". There was some hesitation before she finally told me she wouldn´t believe me ... since then we have a new word, or ... perhaps I was right???

[Edited at 2017-06-24 14:25 GMT]


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