"Merry Christmas" translations

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Mon Dec 4 12:10:22 UTC 2000

From: Michael Everson <everson at egt.ie>
Subject: Re: "Merry Christmas" translations

From: "C.Th. Hasselblatt" <C.Th.Hasselblatt at let.rug.nl>

>I got the same inquiry (without any introduction) and answered
>quite reluctantly: a) please don't do any linguistic research on the
>basis of merry Christmas expressions and b) please don't do any
>linguistic research at all if you can't find those expressions yourself
>which are in every reasonable dictionary. Meanwhile I received an
>answer and learnt that she already knew the expressions of the
>larger languages and wanted to know only those of some minor
>languages, but nevertheless:
>We should not pay to much attention to that kind of inquiries and
>may-be they should be rejected from the list if they appear to often.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Of course the Celtic Diaspora is a lot bigger than the Uralic one, but
you've no idea how much mail I get from people wanting some idiotic phrase
translated into Irish so they can name their house, or -- my favourites --
>from people wanting mystical charms that they can tattoo in Ogham Script up
their shinbones.

I usually tell them that EGT offers professional translation services of
many kinds, prepayment required. EUR 10 for a house name, EUR 20 for a
tattoo (more work involved to get it right since it's forever).

This usually shuts them up. Not that I wouldn't take their money.

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