Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Shoehorn Contest Reconsidered

You may recall the contest in April to translate the message on the wooden shoehorn pictured above and to guess the language.

I have recently heard from a reader in Norway, who writes:

As a Norwegian I'm sorry to say you have awarded the wrong winner of your contest. The text written on the shoehorn "Den vet best hvor skoen trykker, som har den på" is for sure Norwegian. The translation to English will be like this: The one who wears the shoe is the one who knows best where it is squeezing (the toes).
Bonnie (via Google) is not much to blame for the mistake because Norwegian and Danish are very closely related languages. It’s just one letter in the second word in the text that clearly identifies it to be Norwegian and not Danish.
In Danish it most probably will be written like this: "Den ved best hvor skoen trykker, der har den på". I'm not sure but I think it will be possible also in Danish to use "som" instead of "der" after the comma. So it's the use of the letter t instead of a d in the second word that identifies it for me to be Norwegian and not Danish.
So Mr. Betula the Viking has to judge that Karl Friedrich Gauss is the real winner of the contest, but that Hermione has one of nicest blogs he has seen on the web.

A big thank you to Mr. Betula for the translation and explanation, as well as his kind words about my blog. He has also provided a link to an interesting website that describes the painting technique. I'm convinced!

So Karl Friedrich Gauss guessed the language correctly, and is awarded 2 swats to give to the lucky bottom of his choice.

Mr. Betula wins five spanks for his translation, and I hope he visits again.

RPT and Bonnie have, I presume, already enjoyed their prizes, and unfortunately spankings are not returnable, so I'm not going to ask for them back.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear me what a shame, never mind.

And I thought I was so clever.

Isn't it cheating to enter a translating competition when the text is in your native language?


Lady Koregan said...

oh wow! I'm so glad he sent that link. I have 2 implements, one a wooden hand mirror (glass replaced with foil for safety's sake), the other a small cutting board both painted in this style.

I've been curious about the mirror for a very long time. Who would make a 1/2 thick pine hand painted mirror. I think this gets me a step closer to the mystery. Thanks Hermione! And thanks Mr. Betula!

Ms. Betty

Hermione said...

RPT - My hope was that someone who speaks the language would give us the correct translation. I knew I had Norwegian readers. The fun part was making up your own spanko version of the translation.

Ms. Betty - I am glad I included the link, then. Mr. B. sent it to me in a follow up email, so I'm glad I didn't rush to post the new results right away.

Your mirror sounds intriguing!