Let the tricks begin, explained

A while back, I started a travel blog, which you can read at https://thevikingsven.wordpress.com. Thus far, I haven’t updated it as frequently as I had intended, first because I was too busy with the actual travels, then because I got sidetracked. However, another wordpress user mentioned she liked the viking pun in my “About” section. Thus, I created this spinoff blog.

Each entry will consist of at least one example of bizarre wordplay. If you understand it and find it amusing right away, fantastic. If not, though, I will also post a link to an explanation at the bottom of each entry.

I wracked my brain attempting to decide with which Linguistic Parlor Trick I should start this blog, finally settling on the one below. I wish I could claim credit for devising it, but it’s a Swedish classic.

A Swedish student is his first or second year of studying German is asked to translate the following German sentence into Swedish:

Der alte Greis rief seine Kinder und sprach.

The student translates it as

Den gamla grisen rev sina kinder och sprack.


While the German and Swedish sentences look very similar, they are riddled with false friends. Roughly translated, the German sentence reads, “The old man called over his children and spoke,” while the Swedish sentence reads, “The old pig tore his cheeks and cracked.”


One thought on “Let the tricks begin, explained

  1. Pingback: Let the tricks begin! | Linguistic Parlor Tricks

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