Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eierlegende... what???

Thanks to Eleanor, who always so kindly and patiently corrects my German, a grave semantic mistake has been brought to my attention. In the Hohegrete entry, I described a new word: "Eierlegendevollmilchsau." The correct word is actually "Eierlegendewollmilchsau." Is there really that drastic of a semantic difference when replacing a 'v' with a 'w', you might ask. Yes, indeed, there is.

voll = full, complete, totally

die Vollmilch = whole milk

die Wolle = wool

die Wollmilch = wool milk (nonsense word)


[aside: a German 'v' is pronounced as an English 'f'. A German 'w' is pronounced as an English 'v'.]

I originally understood and translated the word as an "egg-laying, whole-milk-producing pig" when it should have been an "egg-laying, wool-and-milk-producing pig." The talents and abilities of this creature were obviously underestimated, as was the creative power of the German language, and I thus offer my deepest condolences.

The moral of the story? If someone is butchering your language, let them know (thanks, Eleanor!). It'll only help them improve.


Lyric of the day: "All I hear is radio ga-ga, radio goo-goo, radio ga-ga." (Thanks to Queen!)

4 comments:

Rori said...

Oh, but a whole milk producing pig would be FUN!

Mary said...

True... and you know what would be even more fun? A chocolate-milk producing pig. Mmm...

Civil Sarah said...

mm... CHOCOLATE!! ;-)

Mary said...

What is it about women and chocolate? One of my teachers once said that women need chocolate like men need women. Hmmm. I still don't know exactly what she meant, and to what extent it's true. ;)