Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Non-native translations, native wine

Back to English now. The last blog post was a departure from the norm that I very much enjoyed but will probably not be making a habit of, given the extra time and effort it entailed. While I do recognise that a good few people write (wine) blogs in languages other than their native tongue and achieve a high degree of linguistic polish in doing so (London and Munich's resident Wine Ramblers, to my knowledge, providing one of the best examples out there), my little incursion into German territory also underscored the golden rule for me as a professional translator of not delivering texts in any other language other than the one I was brought up in. That's English in my case. Expressing this in another way: I would frankly be kidding myself if I thought my recent German-language blog post was of native-speaker quality.

Incidentally, the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (or BDÜ for short) publishes a quarterly periodical for its members in which articles have occasionally been written in English by German native-speaker translators. Although the authors in question undoubtedly have the requisite German academic qualifications to translate into English, their texts can usually still be identified by the trained eye as "non-native". This, I feel, is symptomatic of the practice in German-speaking countries whereby professional translators also regularly translate from their native language, due in my view to a uniquely Germanic obsession with academic qualifications and titles. By this, I mean that once someone has an academic certificate entitling him or her to translate into a foreign language, this is often what counts ahead of all other considerations - such as actual written skills or the wisdom, or otherwise, of translating into a foreign language in the first place.

But I digress.

Today's ever-so-brief notes relate to a wine produced very close to home - barely three miles away as the crow flies, to be precise.

Weingut Röschard, Weiler Schlipf Weissburgunder trocken 2012, Baden, Germany
I admit that it was the winery's revamped bottle labels first and foremost that attracted me to this Pinot Blanc. It's amazing what a bit of marketing can do.

Yellow apple on the nose. Otherwise somewhat reticent over the course of the three evenings I tasted the wine. Again, yellowish apple on the palate. Tasty and light with keen acidity and some minerally personality. I suspect the shy bouquet may open up a little over the course of the next few months or so - it's still early days. Overall, good value for around EUR 6.50 from the supermarket (or EUR 5.80 from the cellar door).

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