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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF: Translating Becker

Was it a "broom-cupboard" he shagged in? Or a "closet"? Or a "walk-in-wardrobe"? Or a "utility/clothes box"? Depends whose translation you believe...

7 November 2003

This week the hypometer started bubbling in anticipation of the autobiography of shrimp-faced pill junkie, Boris Becker. The book is entitled 'Stay a Moment Longer', or 'Hold On, Stay a While', or even 'Instant, Stays Nevertheless', depending on whose translation you favour. At the time of writing there is obviously no English version of the book available, so instead journalists are having to rely on different translations of the extracted passages which have appeared all week in the German tabloid, Bild.

This has led to some discrepancies. For example, simple things like when Boris first discovered the consequences of his broom-cupboard shag - you know, the one that cost him £20m, the one where he knee-trembled a Russian waitress while his wife was in hospital with labour pains - he writes, according to the Daily Mirror, 'Naturally I remembered the evening but to come back like this no way! Absolutely not!' According to the Guardian, 'Naturally I remembered the evening. But for God's sake this couldn't be true!' And according to Babel, the translation service brought to you by Altavista, 'Naturally I had remembered
again this evening. That could not be done nevertheless at all.'

We know which one we prefer, and so, courtesy of Babel, here are a few more of Beckerís stunning revelations.

Boris on shame:

'Naturally I felt large shame. How should I deal with it, how I should teach it to my wife, my nut/mother or also Noah?'

Boris on Anna, his broom-cupboard offspring:

'Would I develop nevertheless father feelings for it? 'Schau, there comes the dad,' announced Anna's nut/mother me. Anna however was completely normal... Naturally I surprised myself with how I took her under the magnifying glass: To whom does she see similar, how it takes away and she holds back itself?'

Boris on drugs:

'I was for the first time in my life so correctly blue, and nothing, neither cold envelopes nor aspirin or mineral water brought me in the night release. I am really no tender seedling, I can quite some bear and stand. In that evening however I had too far gone, and it was not the first time that the alcohol prepared problems for me... I stood on the place and coughed, because I breathed too fast, too slowly or was too nervous and snatched like a hecht at air. The people puzzled about whether that only tick was or whether I am perhaps ill. I was ill. Sleeping pills were my problem.'

Boris on depression:

'Against the sleeplessness there were subgrade level, against pain a few other tablets. Against the however its helped women, Whisky or both... The side effects of the sleeping pills were everything but pleasing: The means made me melancholisch... I was low sad, although I would actually have had to sing before joy. The chemistry of the tablets had made the ghost depression alive.'

So there you have it. Boris Becker. What an utter shit.

More Boris:

http://www.karloff.com/tussauds/java/index.html



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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