Lost (and found) in translation

By Jonas Waldenström

We aim for the stars

We aim for the stars

Your mum likely told you not to brag, but I will do it anyway: we have such an awesome research group, and we are on a roll! A rare collection of individuals that fits surprisingly well together. It is like if you randomly twisted Rubik’s cube with your feet in the darkness and it came out all solved. Yes, we are great scientists (and humble), but more importantly we are witty, intelligent, friendly and caring. Good human beings.

Stewing in our pot at the moment we have ingredients from Iraq, Canada, New Zeeland, France, Catalonia, and Sweden (including the God’s forgotten little city of Västervik and the forested no-man’s-land Värmland). This makes for interesting conversations and different perspective on things. And good food. Especially if you like moose.

Some see 'the grandness of nature' in this picture - others see the 500+ kg of meat! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons, Oliver Abels)

Some see ‘the grandness of nature’ in this picture – others see the 500+ kg of meat! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons, Oliver Abels)

I enjoy the coffee discussions, which regularly include parasite life histories, the more gory the better, the weirdness of Swedish people in general, and the faiblesse for putting things in tubes in particular, all untranslatable words and silly signs. And, of course, the ever ongoing friendly bickering between the Kiwi and the Frenchman.

How Swedish can it get? This is smoked raindeer cheese in a tube! (Photo Jo Chapman)

How Swedish can it get? This is smoked raindeer cheese in a tube! (Photo Jo Chapman)

Language is both a barrier and bridge. Even though English is the language we us for communication, our various accents, proficiency and speed create misunderstandings. For instance, a ‘smiling’ and a ‘smelling’ face are two different things. And we do not sample ‘girls’ we sample ‘gulls’. And – very importantly – we put ‘candles’ not ‘condoms’ on cakes.

It is, as we often say in our group ‘largely sufficient’.

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