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Untranslatable translators' meeting

or "Stammtisch" in Heidelberg

Last Wednesday a monthly meeting of translators from the region took place in Bootshaus, Heidelberg. Expecting to see all the 6 persons registered on the webpage of the translator’s association*, I headed off to the restaurant. The table for the regulars, which is aptly called  “Stammtisch” in German and is practically untranslatable into other languages, was reserved and miraculously expanding during the evening since more and more guests arrived.

So how did it look like when I met someone new? The first question among translators is always “what is your language combination?” This is a vital question because it defines which language you will speak with that person: brave German, romantic French, passionate Italian or inescapable English. And yes, I’m always curious if my colleague and I have the same or at least similar language combination. It’s kind of translator’s Tetris: “Oh, do you also speak Russian? No way!”  If you are especially lucky, your meet a colleague with an exotic language like Japanese.

After exchanging of last news I moved from one table to another and didn’t notice that it was already late. My pocket was full of the business cards and the head full of the new stories. Maybe I’ll tell them another day.
BDÜ (Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators) is the largest professional association for translators and interpreters in Germany.
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