The Null Device

Finkenwaldstr. & Froschdorf

A better German map of the London Underground, with the names of the stations translated etymologically, as opposed to merely having been converted into macaronic pseudo-German. Some of the translations are fairly straightforward (i.e., "Inselgärten" and "Kamdenn Stadt", and, indeed, "Evangeliumseiche"), while others look nothing like the originals (how, for example, does one get from "Amersham" to "Egmundshof"; or, indeed, why does "Piccadilly" come across as "Nimm-Dill" in German?). Still, it's reassuring to know that Mile End is "Mellenende", and not "2.4km Ende".

The author, one Horst Prillinger, also has two English translations of the Vienna Underground; one seriously translated and one more flippantly. Interesting to see that Vienna shares one thing with Melbourne and Brisbane: they all have a Brunswick St.

There are 5 comments on "Finkenwaldstr. & Froschdorf":

Posted by: Owen Fri Jul 30 18:55:56 2004

Nimm-Dill = Pick-Dill (the imperative form of 'nehmen', to take, whence the game Nim), although the street name allegedly comes from fashionable frills called 'piccadils'

- your language consultant (-:

Posted by: dj Sat Jul 31 08:11:27 2004

Why would Mile End be 2.4 km Ende?

Posted by: acb Sat Jul 31 09:43:15 2004

Because they use metric measurements in Germany.

Posted by: Horst Sat Jul 31 12:15:54 2004

Piccadilly was already explained, and believe it or not, Amersham was orginially called Aegmondesham; Aegmond being Anglo-Saxon for the name Egmund, and "ham" meaning homestead, or farm, which in German translates as "Hof". It is actually a correct etymological translation (quite a few of the more obscure translations are etymologically correct).

One mile is 1.6km, but "1.6km-Ende" sounded kind of clumsy, so I left "Meile", which, while no longer used in everyday life, still features heavily in fairy tales, and I liked that touch.

Posted by: dj Sun Aug 1 15:50:37 2004

I was thinking along the lines of Horst's last para.