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Your path crosses many expressions and one of them is AWE.

awe [C:] n (fear) crainte f; (respect) respect m, révérence f;
to strike someone with awe, (of person) imposer à quelqu’un, un respect mêlé de crainte; (of object, phenomenon) frapper quelqu’un, d’une terreur mystérieuse;
to be in awe of someone/something, (fear) craindre ou redouter quelqu’un,/quelque chose; (respect) avoir une crainte respectueuse de quelqu’un,/quelque chose;
to hold someone in awe, redouter quelqu’un,; I was in awe of the nuns, j’étais intimidé par les bonnes sœurs.

How creative is the publisher with the sentence: I was in awe of the nuns.

My mother tongue is German, good old Viennese German. To speak German is different from speaking Viennese, as the Viennese is a mixture of arrogant sounds and half spoken sentences with a special meaning of their own. Ask someone in Vienna for something he doesn’t desire and the answer will be: “Why not?” This means definitely no in an unspoken way.

In particular, the American culture has a problem to adjust to this, as the fast approach and shortened proximity is something that Viennese people do not stand and will immediately punish the soon-to-be-avoided person with utter ignorance, or even better by killing any joy. Vienna is not a funny city, it is beautiful but not funny, comments about the beauty will be overshadowed by the fact that everything is dark and bad, there is no reason to be happy, being from Vienna means that you are special and negative. No wonder why all these famous psychiatrists and most of all Sigmund Freud could really establish the Viennese School for this. Prague is different; it is the city of magic of miracles of everything that has to do with wonder.

The Viennese language is – if you understand it and you are able to communicate in it – very interesting and hasn’t changed for centuries. It differs in tone if you are rich or poor, if you are coming from the west or east -you simply can hear that – or if you are skilled, you are judged about it and immediately and then treated accordingly.

In Austria we do not have any expression synonym of “awe”. No wonder why we are not expecting any wonders, we do not need anything that means: new, unknown or something other people have. So speaking another language makes you get in touch with expressions that are unknown to you. And the problem is that you have to be aware of the language and express the things you want in this language.


While getting more and more familiar with this new language you try to cross the fine line of using words that you are not sure what they really mean. Or you do not understand the real meaning of what someone is telling you. You can just guess. And you miss 50% of the communication and the moment that maybe changes your life.

It is very important to be in the place where the language and the culture is spoken, as in school or other places away from this country, you get theoretical part and this makes you always excluded, a foreigner. Anyhow it will take ages to learn the language properly and even then you are identified by the accent.

Before I wrote my blog I tried to find an expression for “awe” in Czech and German, and all the Romance languages, but they simply do not have it. And it is so easy AW / Ful and my préférée  AWE/ Some.

The importance of good translation is most obvious when things go wrong. Here are nine examples from the book that show just how high-stakes the job of translation can be.


In 1980, 18-year-old Willie Ramirez was admitted to a Florida hospital in a comatose state. His friends and family tried to describe his condition to the paramedics and doctors who treated him, but they only spoke Spanish. Translation was provided by a bilingual staff member who translated “intoxicado” as “intoxicated.” A professional interpreter would have known that “intoxicado” is closer to “poisoned” and doesn’t carry the same connotations of drug or alcohol use that “intoxicated” does. Ramirez’s family believed he was suffering from food poisoning. He was actually suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage, but the doctors proceeded as if he were suffering from an intentional drug overdose, which can lead to some of the symptoms he displayed. Because of the delay in treatment, Ramirez was left quadriplegic. He received a malpractice settlement of $71 million.


When President Carter travelled to Poland in 1977, the State Department hired a Russian interpreter who knew Polish, but was not used to interpreting professionally in that language. Through the interpreter, Carter ended up saying things in Polish like “when I abandoned the United States” (for “when I left the United States”) and “your lusts for the future” (for “your desires for the future”), mistakes that the media in both countries very much enjoyed.


At the height of the cold war, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech in which he uttered a phrase that interpreted from Russian as “we will bury you.” It was taken as chilling threat to bury the U.S. with a nuclear attack and escalated the tension between the U.S. and Russia. However, the translation was a bit too literal. The sense of the Russian phrase was more that “we will live to see you buried” or “we will outlast you.” Still not exactly friendly, but not quite so threatening.


In 2009, HSBC bank had to launch a $10 million rebranding campaign to repair the damage done when its catchphrase “Assume Nothing” was mistranslated as “Do Nothing” in various countries.


A panic in the world’s foreign exchange market led the U.S. dollar to plunge in value after a poor English translation of an article by Guan Xiangdong of the China News Service zoomed around the Internet. The original article was a casual, speculative overview of some financial reports, but the English translation sounded much more authoritative and concrete.


St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, studied Hebrew so he could translate the Old Testament into Latin from the original, instead of from the third century Greek version that everyone else had used. The resulting Latin version, which became the basis for hundreds of subsequent translations, contained a famous mistake. When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai his head has “radiance” or, in Hebrew, “karan.” But Hebrew is written without the vowels, and St. Jerome had read “karan” as “keren,” or “horned.” From this error came centuries of paintings and sculptures of Moses with horns and the odd offensive stereotype of the horned Jew.


In the 50s, when chocolate companies began encouraging people to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Japan, a mistranslation from one company gave people the idea that it was customary for women to give chocolate to men on the holiday. And that’s what they do to this day. On February 14, the women of Japan shower their men with chocolate hearts and truffles, and on March 14 the men return the favor. An all around win for the chocolate companies!


In the Japanese video game Street Fighter II a character says, “if you cannot overcome the Rising Dragon Punch, you cannot win!” When this was translated from Japanese into English, the characters for “rising dragon” were interpreted as “Sheng Long.” The same characters can have different readings in Japanese, and the translator, working on a list of phrases and unaware of the context, thought a new person was being introduced to the game. Gamers went crazy trying to figure out who this Sheng Long was and how they could defeat him. In 1992, as an April Fool’s Day joke, Electronic Gaming Monthly published elaborate and difficult to execute instructions for how to find Sheng Long. It wasn’t revealed as a hoax until that December, after countless hours had no doubt been wasted.


In 1840, the British government made a deal with the Maori chiefs in New Zealand. The Maori wanted protection from marauding convicts, sailors, and traders running roughshod through their villages, and the British wanted to expand their colonial holdings. The Treaty of Waitangi was drawn up and both sides signed it. But they were signing different documents. In the English version, the Maori were to “cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty.” In the Maori translation, composed by a British missionary, they were not to give up sovereignty, but governance. They thought they were getting a legal system, but keeping their right to rule themselves. That’s not how it turned out, and generations later the issues around the meaning of this treaty are still being worked out.

Read the full text here:

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

Communication is life important. I know this and I need it desperately. If you do not communicate your relationship looks like a minefield of unspoken things that blow up once you do not pay attention to it. And to express all these wonderful moments and all these fantasies you see and create, it needs to say AWE, really awesome, and that says everything, finite.

I speak an up scaled Viennese however I speak a terrible western Austrian ( which sounds as if I would have a sore throat), actually, I correct my children if they don’t speak a clean Viennese, but if I speak Czech I am helpless and depending on the tolerance of the nation I’ve lived in for nearly a decade. So what connects us is the imagination that overcomes all borders and boundaries. And here is my contribution to imagination at the highest degree. Enjoy.


Lots of love


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