Allegro språktjenester

Allegro språktjenester blogger om språk og oversetting.

I høst dro Allegro-gjengen på landet og til Haaheim Gaard for å nyte god mat i landlige omgivelser, bli bedre kjent og bygge bånd som arbeidskolleger. Eller for å si det på godt norsk: vi var på et "teambuilding- og kick-off-arrangement med workshop". Lagkonseptet på arbeidsplassen oppstod sent på 1920-tallet med det som nå er kjent som Hawthorne-studiene. I disse ble det undersøkt hvordan en rekke ulike situasjoner og faktorer påvirket en gruppe arbeidere. Det viste seg at gruppeidentitet var den viktigste faktoren. Fra dette oppsto mye av grunnlaget til organisasjons- og ledelsespsykologiens verden og ikke minst til nye norske ord som teambuilding og kick-off. Vi kicket off arrangementet vårt med vinsmaking og en tur rundt på den frodige gården på Tysnes hvor vår ivrige vert formidlet gode historier om gårdens fortid. Dette ble etterfulgt av en smaksmeny basert på kortreiste lokale råvarer. Vi ble så introdusert til sauskunsten med et kurs i hvordan man lager verdens beste hollandés. Ifølge verten tenker forresten menn bare på to ting – og den ene av dem er bearnéssaus!

We translators at Allegro Språktjenester have compiled a list of the words we often struggle to translate into English. This list includes many rather intangible words like ‘faglig’, ‘forankring’, ‘aktør’ and ‘helhetlig’. Tourism texts, though generally more concrete, present their own challenges, and none more so than the lovely light, soft word ‘svaberg’. Few words conjure up the idyll of summer as readily as the word ‘svaberg’. It brings to mind lazy days, a glittering blue sea and golden tans. For Norwegians that is. This simple word, however, is something of a nut to translate into English. In tourism texts, its status is almost akin to that of stave churches and fjords. It is a selling point, a fantastic geological phenomenon that enables beach-less Norwegians to spend time by the sea.

In August last year, Allegro published a blog about how correct use of punctuation can save your life. This month, Allegro will also demonstrate how sensible use of commas can save money. Millions, in fact. The case concerns the Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma. This is an optional comma used before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list, e.g. for breakfast today, I had toast, fruit, and yoghurt. In this example, the Oxford comma is redundant, since we automatically assume that fruit and yoghurt are two separate things. In other cases, though, it is definitely worth considering. The Oxford comma is more commonly used in the USA, and apparently for good reason. In Maine, USA, a dispute solely resting on the use of the Oxford comma was recently settled for the amount of 5 million dollars.

Some of Allegro's assignments can be more demanding than others and the expression ‘I’m going to lose my marbles’ happened to crop up one afternoon at the office. This, of course, was met with laughter followed by a curiosity about where the phrase ‘to lose one’s marbles’ actually comes from. The answer was quite surprising and rather complex. The story goes that the word ‘lumber’ was widely used in England until about the mid-20th century as a metaphor for the contents of one’s mind. The word lumber in this sense meant unused pieces of furniture. The metaphor portrayed the mind as a room that was cluttered by old tables and chairs, which obstructed its proper use.