Bitch on the Blog

August 24, 2013


Filed under: Pretentious Shit — bitchontheblog @ 16:09
Tags: , , ,

Occasionally it’s mildly irritating when you speak more than one language fluently.

A saying will pop into your mind which does NOT translate well. Came across this little gem and I know how the author feels: “I can’t eat as much as I want to throw up.” Sounds lame, doesn’t it? However, the original: “Ich kann nicht so viel fressen wie ich kotzen moechte” somewhat more impressive.

I have appropriated it and now face the world with “I can’t throw up as much as I’d like to eat”. If you think that doesn’t make sense it’s because it doesn’t make sense. Trust yourselves a bit more.




  1. This post came complete with a video attached:

    Youngest’s Violin Teacher, Polish-Austro-German by birth who “only speaks six languages. I’d better learn another soon.” and whose English is perfect in all aspects as only a foreigner can be, objected when I mentioned “Practice makes perfect.” as a motto. “No,” he said,” Practice makes the master. No-one is perfect.” Apparently that is a German saying and I have to agree with him, it is more fitting.

    Comment by magpie11 — August 24, 2013 @ 19:11 | Reply

    • Yes, David, it is a German saying. “Uebung macht den Meister”. Meister being the accolade of having served a (much recognized) apprenticeship and practicing, practicing, practicing a craft over a lifetime. And many a Meister will take on a Lehrling (apprentice). Will that system ever cotton on in England? I mean: Properly? Given the respect it deserves?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 25, 2013 @ 07:51 | Reply

      • “Britian on Borrowed Time” published in the 60s said as much and I have been going on about it ever since.. The answer to your question is a resounding NO! Our politicians are too strongly attached to the misconception that the only possible pinnacle of education (or the only education worthy of any respect) is pure academia.

        As far back as the 19th century we suffered this… We failed to educate our workers and managers appropriately…. Oh yes we had the occasional engineering/mechanical genius but the majority ….. were not allowed to progress fully.

        Comment by magpie11 — August 25, 2013 @ 11:57 | Reply

  2. I find the English version quite appealing. It is quite powerful as a metaphor.

    Comment by Rummuser — August 24, 2013 @ 21:36 | Reply

    • Yes, Ramana, it is a powerful metaphor. Someone voiced the sentiment (in ‘Der Spiegel’) in context of Manning’s sentencing. It’s how I came across it and made a note of it. That it sounds (emphasis on ‘sound’) stronger in German is only because the way Germans speak is generally emphatic. Not least German being so guttural, making hissing noises with all those double ‘s’ and ‘tz’.

      Mind you, as an aside, where my father stems from (Leipzig) they talk as if they have just stood in a fresh cow pad. Softly. Taking away all edges from the language. It’s hilarious. I used to ask my father to speak in that accent (he normally doesn’t) because it made me laugh so much. Still does. So endearing. Slightly nasal too.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 25, 2013 @ 08:02 | Reply

  3. Luckily I don’t have this problem, I speak only English (ethnocentric me) but am fluent in several accents.

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 26, 2013 @ 20:24 | Reply

    • Yes, I remember you saying that before. Odd in a way: I speak more than one language, a few moderately. Mostly with my hands. Yet accents escape me. I can’t speak them, and often my ear refuses to make any sense of them. It’s embarrassing at times.

      My favourite example, and I might have mentioned this before: Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront” and “A Streetcar named Desire”. Admittedly I wasn’t familiar with English/American then. Luckily I have an imagination so was able to make up the dialogue in order to follow the story line. Years later, being immersed in English 24/7, I had no problem with him as the godfather (despite those cotton wool pads they stuffed in his mouth).

      It’s a gift to be ‘fluent in several accents’. Be glad, Lorna. My son once dryly remarked that, depending on who he talks to, he is either ‘yeah, mate’ or so ‘posh’ his father would be proud of him. Which, I guess makes both of you charming chameleons in human intercourse. Whilst I am just a ‘stuck up cow’.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 27, 2013 @ 10:32 | Reply

      • I’m the stuck up American who never bothered to learn another language. Well, to be fair, I tried to learn Spanish, but that part of my brain is busy doing other things, like making up words and and trying to be a smarty-pants. 😉

        Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 27, 2013 @ 13:31 | Reply

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