Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Ich kann nur ein wenig Deutsch sprechen

I wouldn’t want you all to get the wrong idea: very little BB cuisine comes out of packets, tins and indestructible plastic trays from Iceland. But this Maggi Sauerbraten mix was acquired on one of Mrs BB’s Christmas market trips in Germany and there’s a bit of brisket going begging.

My interest here is linguistic and I’m drawn to Frisch dazu: 500 g Rindfleisch since I’m utterly convinced that dazu translates as “thereto” however archaic the word is in English. No? Then let’s turn over the packet and find that I’m urged to Schlagen Sie eine weitere Seite aus dem Maggi Fix Kochbuch auf:

A perfect example of where a little (German) learning can lead to. I know schlagen is “to hit” so this clearly means “Hit yourself with a further page from the Maggi Fix cookbook.” Unfortunately auf (on) is added at the end, but it’s a short word and can’t mean much. Alas, alas. German is known for its LEGO BRICK TENDENCY which allows words to be infinitely connected as in Donaudampfersgesellschaftskapitänswitwe (Widow of a captain formerly with the Danube Steamship Company). But it is equally known for its DISINTEGRATION TENDENCY whereby bits of verbs are sawn off and put elsewhere.

Thus auf was, in a previous life, attached to another word. How about aufschlagen (consult – as in book). The lesson endeth here. And here’s the moral. Never interrupt a German until he (or she) reaches the full stop, satisfyingly rendered as Punkt. There may be a tail in the sting.