Monday, October 8, 2012

There are different types of floor

Sometimes, it’s amazing how quickly you reach the limits of translatability. And sometimes, even translating into your own mother tongue can be unexpectedly tough, especially when it involves something that you’ve never done in your home country.

I have never built a house, or been involved in any way in the building of a house, in Britain. So I know, for example, that the nice, smooth not-quite concrete they poured into our house a few weeks ago is called “Estrich” in German, but I have to look it up to find out the English.

And that’s where the troubles begin, because one of the words you get is “screed”, which in British English means the top layer of cement and sand applied to a concrete floor, but in American English means the board used to smooth concrete. Various other translations suffer similar problems, with different meanings in different countries and never quite fully explaining what “Estrich” is.

Which is why, speaking as freely as I can, in this video I talk about waiting for the floor to dry so we can put the floor down. What I meant was, we’re waiting for the not-quite concrete to dry so we can put tiles down. And you thought this was easy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Well, it’s been a while, but I have a very good reason

Now, a lot of you may have been wondering where I’ve been all this time, and all I can say is that I’ve been here. Or as much here as possible, which has been difficult because I’ve been doing a few things that have necessitated my not being here, exactly, as in here at my desk.

This post is already starting to go horribly wrong, but here’s a video that should go some way to explaining what I’ve been up to.