From Cologne too

Zach from Cologne sent me this picture in response to my picture. Again a bad mix of German and English.


When thinking in 2 languages

When you live and work in another land and language sometimes the brain does not know what language to read signs in. In Germany there is a lot of advertising in English or broken English bits. Sometimes it makes no sense and sometimes if we translate the English directly into German, we can understand what they are saying.

The other day I was at the neighborhood "Home Depot" looking for some bolts and came across this sign for dog food. Not just any dog food but " BARF - in - one; 100% complete meal; first PREMIUM ready BARF." Made me think of the Bible verse: a dog returns to his own vomit (2.Pet.2:22 or Prov. 26:11). There is a website that you can go to and watch a video. In the video the experts explain what BARF is and how the BARF is weighed out in 25 gram BARF balls with everything your dog needs for a complete diet. I am sure it is a good product but my brain keeps switching back to the English meaning of BARF!

Another picture that my brain kept switching languages with was when I saw this picture on TV and then again later in the Der Spiegel Online magazine. The picture went with an article about radical Muslims passing out copies of the Koran in the major cities of Germany. In front of the stand was the sign with the word "LIES!" The first time I saw it I did not understand why radical Muslims would be saying the Koran was "LIES!" A moment later my brain switched languages and finally read it correctly. It did not say "lies" (in German = Lügen) but meant "read it!" (from the German = Lesen).

With this last picture you see that many people do not understand English but they try to use it anyway for advertising. The sign says: Our Deal - New! New! Coffee to go, also to take with you (or we would say "to go"). One person we know said that someone told her she should get some of that African Kaffee. She did not know what he was meaning at first. Then it became clear, he wanted coffee from Togo (a country in West Africa) - or maybe another cup of coffee to go?