The Mistake on Page 1,032: On Translating Infinite Jest into German.
"'The limits of my language are the limits of my world,' Ulrich Blumenbach quotes Wittgenstein as saying in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
article to describe the challenges and inducements of the six years he spent translating David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest
) into German — something he did without input from the author, who refused to speak to him." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Mar 4, 2010 -
Sites matching images to pregiven text have been done before
, but the texts are seldom as good as those used at zweiterblick's sudelbild
: the pictures are matched to (randomly selected?) aphorisms of scientist and all-around Enlightened fellow GC Lichtenberg (about whom more
). The relation is sometimes fairly literal
, sometimes fairly opaque
, but it's worth it for the idiosyncratic selection of aphorisms in any case.
posted by kenko
on May 12, 2009 -
I both loved and resented that wealth of warmth which Elisabeth brought to me in those unexpected hours of the night. I was usually in the midst of a sound sleep when she got into my bed, and thrilling as I found the ministrations of her fat little fingers, it also meant my being kept awake for hours and hours. Besides, though in my conscious nature I knew nothing about what was going on, I must have had a feeling that my sister was bringing to my life as accomplished facts sensations whose real value to a boy was in their being discovered as part of the experience of growing up. She was presenting me with triumphs I should by right attain only by my own efforts in a much more restricted world… [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Mar 20, 2009 -
"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon
's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice
, is described by Penguin Press
as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell
or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow
. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 6, 2009 -
At One Minute Languages
you can learn greetings, talking about names, counting, and more in Catalan
, and Russian
posted by sveskemus
on Nov 11, 2008 -
Nazi German Bunker in my Garden:
"[...] the previous owner told us that there was a tunnel built by the germans during WW2. He said it was big enough to drive into, [...]
So I traced some WW2 reconnaisance photos of the property, which appeared to show the entrance road to my bunker. [...] And that's where the quest began....." (Original thread here
, first link is to condensed but more readable blog.)
posted by orthogonality
on Jun 29, 2008 -
Too pissed to drive?
("An interactive urinary experience - not to be mistaken with the Wii.") Those naughty but practical Germans have come up with a way to discourage men from driving drunk using a video game embedded in a urinal. I don't know how successful it's been in the real world, but it did win a silver Clio
award for Innovative Use of Technology
. If you don't plan to be in a Frankfurt bar any time soon, or if you lack the necessary equipment
to play, you can try the wee-free simulation here
posted by maudlin
on May 19, 2008 -
The video of German electrofunkmeister Michael Fakesch's On the Floor
(via Daily Motion) might make getting to sleep difficult.
But it's awesome, and the guy sounds like a younger, angrier Prince. [more inside]
posted by bwg
on May 5, 2008 -
meticulously catalogs radio controlled and flywheel powered cars made by East German (DDR) toy makers such as Presu, Elmes, MSW, Anker, Piko, Gevo, Plasticart and Sommermeyer.
posted by riffola
on Jan 7, 2008 -
is a tiny, picturesque
hamlet on the coast of Suffolk harbouring a big WW2 mystery: the best developed rumour is of an attempt by the Germans to invade Britain at this spot which was anticipated and intercepted by pumping fuel onto the sea surface and setting fire to it. UK files on the subject are closed, again mysteriously, until 2021. Ronald Ashford, who claims to have been an eye witness
, has a lot more information
. You can stay
posted by rongorongo
on Jul 5, 2007 -
: Jan-M. Studt's writing/directing debut. "Businesswoman Sarah Townsend looked back on a successful day when a promising, unknown man called on her 3D-holophone. Too bad the holophone technique isn't very advanced yet. And men are not what they used to be..." (German with English subtitles.)
posted by Orb
on Aug 15, 2006 -
is a language used by the descendents of ancient Greek colonists in southern Italy that still has thousands of speakers. Pennsylvania Dutch
, the only German language native to North America, was used as a first language until well into the twentieth century. Ladino
ia a variant of medieval Spanish written in the Hebrew alphabet that florished among refugees from the Spanish Inquisition in modern Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. Welcome to the world of ethnolinguistics
posted by huskerdont
on Jul 20, 2006 -
"King Anfortas currently owns this magic stone, schmooze him, take him surprise, how ever you will get it, but bring me this stone! As award I promise you my daughter and a place on the crown!"
-- The Mystery of Castle Wildenburg
, a slightly goofily-translated game that combines point-&-click with classic text adventure gameplay, and photos of the lovely German countryside. Read the "Prehistory," mouseover everything, save often (though you lose your accumulated points on loading a saved game), and be careful not to die of thirst.
posted by Gator
on Jul 17, 2006 -
90 years ago today, whistles blew around the river Somme in France as British troops prepared for an attack on German trenches. By the end of the day they had suffered 57,470 casualties. By the battle's end in November, there were over 600,000 Allied casualties, with perhaps the same number of German casualties. The Imperial War Museum
has launched an online exhibition, where you can find out more about how the battle was planned, personal stories
of those involved, and myths
about the attack. Elsewhere you can find copies of Army reports on the first day
, look at film
of the attack, diaries and letters
home from the troops, go on tours
of the trenches
, listen to contemporary songs and music
inspired by the battle, and see some more modern responses
posted by greycap
on Jul 1, 2006 -
once more: the entire German edition was shut down
this week over the contents of a single entry
. The parents of the article's subject, a German hacker who died in 1998 under mysterious circumstances
, are displeased with his real name being disclosed in the encyclopedia. It is now back online; however, the future of the family's efforts is currently unclear, not only due to the German order's debatable validity in the US - but also because the order was, initially at least, mistakenly addressed
to St. Petersburg, Russia, instead of St. Petersburg, Florida.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jan 20, 2006 -
Everybody knows that gangsta rap promotes sexism, homophobia... and fascism. Take Bushido
, for instance - the Berlin rapper of Tunisian descent that all the neo-Nazis love. Confused
Well, so are the Germans
. And then we're not even talking about Fler
, whose "This is black-red-gold, hard and proud!"
nationalist lyrics never fail to piss off the German papers (in German)
, and who likes to pose in his videos with a nice symbolic eagle. (Then again, Helmut Kohl didn't mind
Still, Fler's flag-waving, eagle-loving rhymes are no match for Bushido's "Salute, stand to attention, I am the leader like 'A'"
. The A stands for Adolf, you know.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jan 12, 2006 -
Heiterkeit (12 meg quicktime movie)
is an utterly charming German music video about all the other
fun things you can do lying down. (Yes, it's entirely safe for work, unless your workplace forbids quirky charm.) If you enjoy it, check out Transsylvanische Verwandte(12 meg quicktime movie)
, another work by the same director
. For a look behind the scenes of both films, there's this making-of video
. (The making of video is a realplayer file, and it's in German--but I don't speak German, and I got the general idea.) Via Antville
posted by yankeefog
on Oct 28, 2005 -
Americans, German win nobel prize for physics.
They won for for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, which among other thing allows them to measure the speed of light to such accuracy that it is now used as the definition for the meter
, see if the laws of physics were the same at the beginning of time, and make gps satellites
work much better.
posted by stilgar
on Oct 4, 2005 -
As of today, the German language has changed
, ending a 10 year state of flux which has seen new spelling rules mixed with the old ones. Under the new system, "extremely long compound words have been broken up, comma rules have been simplified, and in many cases a double-S replaces the old letter sign for the sound, which resembles a capital B."
But given the strong resistance to the new rules from some in the German community, it may be a little premature to add the old German language to to the list of lost languages
(previously discußed here
) just yet.
Anyway, for Mefite linguaphiles interested in this significant and now seemingly permanent change to the German language, check out the German spelling reform timeline
posted by Effigy2000
on Aug 3, 2005 -