Thursday, February 02, 2023

Finding an English translation of the German word "Schnittchen" by going through French

In the early 1990s in Germany, I learned about "Schnittchen", which my future mother-in-law would serve, often quite spontaneously: a platter of single slices of bread with various toppings on them. I only thought about what else to call them today, when the word appeared in a poem I was translating from German into English. I first thought of "open-faced sandwich", which is more a description than a name and didn't fit the poem at all, so then I tried something I'd never done before: I used a German-French dictionary to see if there was a good French word. And when I saw it, I thought it was just right: canapé. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 2 February 2023)

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