So what's new? Got myself a minor academic degree in the time since my last diary, back in the ordovician, but no new job (yet, I hope). Anybody have employment for someone who has no marketable skills at all, but can say "Do you want fries with that" in seven different languages? *sigh*
My professor wrote me a glowing recommendation for a job I apply for in Finland. It's almost a bit embarassing. I mean, I'm the most incompetent waste of space around, after all. Wish me luck.
I need to actually do something again. Right now, I have too much unoccupied time, and my insomnia is getting really bad. As they say around here, I'm walking on my gums. More time to diarize, less stuff to write about. C'est la vie.
There's a webcam overlooking the Christmas market in my town. I'll have to go there eventually to find some last minute presents, but not today. It's stormy and the rain just won't stop. The place does look more appealing, though, than in recent years. Less noise, no techno beat-enhanced "White Christmas" last time I passed by. Buffta buffta buffta.
Knee deep in sheep shit
If you need some temporary storage for furniture and stuff, a shed on a meadow in the middle of a swamp on an island that barely rises above sea level might not be the ideal place. Though, to be fair, J didn't have much of a choice. Today we went and hauled it all into her new flat. Her possessions were actually in better shape than I'd have expected. It had rained a lot recently and the van got stuck in the mud several times. On a meadow that is being used for raising sheep and cattle - hence this paragraph's headline. Fun.
Wort des Jahres
The German Language Society (Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache) announced the Word Of The Year 2007 today: 'Klimakatastrophe'. Well.
My word of the day is rokotus, which is Finnish for 'vaccination'. No deeper meaning, I just like the sound of it. ROCK-at-us. ROCKatusROCKatusROCKatus. The vowels are a bit off; just to give you an impression.
The happy kind, not the Pearl Harbor kind.
Yesterday (Dec 6th) was Finnish independence day, or Itsenäisyyspäivä; the 90th. Here in Germany St. Nicholas is the day for putting chocolate into footwear. In our family the day used to be a Christmas preview of sorts, what with it almost being my brother's birthday as well. One year, my brother persuaded me to try and find the place where our parents hid the presents, and find it we did. And then had to fake surprise. I learned there's some merit in not wanting to know everything.
Today is Tom Waits' birthday. I first heard of him back in the age of audio cassettes via a band from Cologne called "The piano has been drinking" that played Waits songs translated into Cologne dialect. And then I discovered the real stuff. Congratulations.
It's also the birthday of late Erika Fuchs. If you want to get rich and famous, translating is not the right career for you. One of the few German translators that gained some prominence with people outside the profession is Erika Fuchs. She translated Donald Duck, specifically the stories created by Carl Barks. Interestingly, what helped her in a way was that nobody at the time, including herself, took comics terribly seriously (except for the people who villified them). So she allowed herself considerable liberties and created what in the trade is known as "belles infidèles" rather than clinging religiously to the holy original. And it worked. (Thread in a German fan forum collecting "Highlights of the art of translation")
Wherever you look, nothing but surroundings.
She's also the only person I can think of that has a grammatical category named after her, the Erikativ (see the aforementioned wikipedia article). A killjoy linguist came up with a properly scholarly name, Inflektiv. Boooh.
I've been watching or listening to a lot of lectures via the internet recently, and then I accidentally came across this one and it was the most interesting and enjoyable one of them all. Seriously, go watch it. I can't claim I could properly evaluate the research there, but it's fascinating regardless. By the way, what makes some people feel our being related to other ape species somehow denigrates human dignity? That's an idea that just never parsed for me.
The walking skeletons are cool.
Asia on loppuun käsitelty.
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