Sprachrausch Blog

The limits of transcreation: Billboards in a secret language

Masematte, Münster’s secret language I am a very happy resident of Münster, a medium-sized town in Germany known mainly for the ridiculous amount of cyclists and how often it rains. But Münster has more to offer: I recently wrote a guest blog (in German) about a secret language that used be spoken here. I’m talking about Masematte, a Rotwelsch dialect.

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Transcreating a Christmas billboard

An exercise in transcreation: It starts with a German holiday billboard I like studying billboards at bus stops and trying to come up with good versions in English. This time, the Christmas billboards for ALDI caught my eye. The tagline is “Oh, du Günstige”. It’s a twist on the German Christmas Carol “Oh, du fröhliche, oh du selige.” (Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page, which features an English translation.) What the billboard has done is to replace the “fröhliche” (joyous)

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