12/20/2007

Pass the nuts

Finally the major media is picking up on this very important story:

Under the headline Der Pistazienkrieg, which sounds even more ominous in the German than my Pistachio War, yesterday's Sueddeutsche Zeitung follows antarcticiana's lead in pointing out that America's beef with Iran is about much more than Persian nuclear ambition. In gracious, european fashion the paper gives credit where credit is due:

So berichtet der Reiseschriftsteller Richard Fleming in seinem Blog von einem Vergleich im New Yorker Delikatessgeschäft Sahadi’s, dass kalifornische Pistazien zwar formschöner, jedoch sehr mehlig seien, und mit den schrumpeligen, doch würzigen Pendants aus Iran nicht mithalten können Laut der israelischen Zeitung Jediot Achronot deckt sich das mit dem Urteil der israelischen Konsumenten.

At least I think this final paragraph of the article includes a credit; I have no idea what it says. However, a brief trip to babelfish suggests not only that I have now made myself internationally famous for slagging off the inferior flavor of Californian pistachios as compared with those produced by the axis of evil, but also that online translation has a long way to go:

Thus the travel writer Richard Fleming in its Blog reports of a comparison in New Yorker delicate business the Sahadi's the fact that California Pistazien is very mehlig graceful designed, however, and with the schrumpeligen but spicy counterparts from Iran cannot keep up sound of the Israeli newspaper Jediot Achronot covers itself with the judgement of the Israeli consumers.


Perhaps my German readers can bring clarity to this muddy controversy.

Sueddeutsche, by the way, doesn't draw the line at handing out credits. In an admirable spirit of integrity and transparency they are also sharing their ongoing research into this developing crisis.

1 comment:

Austin said...

This translation problem has a long history. Just before Christmas, 1944, the German Army made one of its last offensive drives on the Western front in the so-called “Battle of the Bulge”. The German aim was to herniate the Allied coastal front by retaking the crucial port of Antwerp, in the process splitting the American and British forces. Some of the fiercest fighting was at Bastogne, an important road junction, which the Americans held with great loss of life. At one point the German commander proposed that the Americans, whose position seemed hopeless, should surrender. He sent a message asking the American commander for terms. It was on this occasion that General Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne uttered his famous but ambiguous monosyllable: “NUTS”. From his side of the linguistic divide this seemed to the German officer a contemptuous, negative reply. He withdrew his offer, continued the attack, and the rest is history. Many years later McAuliffe wrote a tell-all memoir in which he said this. “Yeah, I got the Distinguished Service Cross, but the whole thing was sort of a mistake. Our position was desperate, and I was ready to surrender so long as the Germans would guarantee our most fundamental needs. But I didn’t know the German word for pistachios.”