Media Monday is a feature I post every two weeks where I discuss an interesting word or phrase (or sentence or paragraph) from what I’ve been reading or watching.
First things first: I’ve finally finished reading Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch! *cue applause*
I’ve now moved onto reading The Hunger Games – in both German and Spanish. It’s working really well for me because I can use the German to make sense of the Spanish (which I’m miles behind with, but not finding to be a total mystery) and since the book isn’t too long I’m kind of ploughing through it. My phrase today is one that most people have probably read.
–¡Me presento voluntaria! –grito, con voz ahogada–. ¡Me presento voluntaria como tributo! (Los Juegos del Hambre)
“Ich gehe freiwillig!” keuche ich. “Ich gehe freiwillig als Tribut!” (Tödliche Spiele, s. 28)
Basically, this is just a short post to look at the differences between the two translations above. It’s really a matter of vocabulary – what I find interesting is that, in both languages, you can’t simply say ‘I volunteer’, the way we do in English. The Spanish translates, more or less, to ‘I introduce myself as a volunteer,’ whereas the German is more like ‘I go freely’. Both have, of course, the same meaning – but I do find it a little strange that there isn’t a verb for volunteer the way that there is in English.
In German, keuchen is to gasp – just the one word, like in English, but the Spanish translation has a whole phrase, grito con voz ahogada. Gritar is to shout, and voz ahogada is drowned voice, which sounds a little odd in English. The verb from ahogada, ahogar, does mean to drown, but also to suffocate, so similar to the to gasp in German – it’s just shouting something with a strangled voice. It’s interesting to me that there doesn’t seem to be a verb for to gasp in Spanish – or, at least, that that verb wasn’t used here.
The last two sentences are more or less the same, since we’ve already covered the differences with the original phrase. It’s only a short post, but looking at languages that aren’t English side by side is interesting to me, especially when I’m using the German to help me to learn the Spanish. It’s good to see a few similarities between the two, even if they’re not ever-present.
presentar – to introduce, to offer
voluntaria – volunteer (fem.)
gritar – to shout
la voz – voice
ahogado – drowned
keuchen – to gasp
Has anyone else used one foreign language they’ve learnt to learn another? How did that work out for you?