The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

April 07, 2004

New Map

I'm afraid that this will further convince some people that I have way too much time on my hands (which isn't true), but I can proudly announce that after weeks of work, I have finally finished this:

London Underground Map translated into German
(Click to enlarge, approx. 320K)

Yes, it's the London Underground map translated into German. Some of it was translated literally, for some I had to check out the etymology of the name to come up with a sensible translation, some are a "sounds-like" translation, and some are sheer nonsense. Unlike Myrtle's "If Britain Had Lost The War" map, I have, however, attempted to translate everything into more or less sensible German.

The results range from sensibly boring to downright absurd, and the weird thing is that some of the funniest translations are in fact not made up, but the actual etymological meaning of the place name.

Obviously, you need to have a pretty good command of German to find this funny.

Many thanks are due to Cyril M. Harris, without whose book What's in a name? I could never have done this.

Update: a few people have asked for an original map to compare my translations with. Original maps can be found at

Posted by Horst on April 7, 2004 03:05 PM to books & bookkeeping | Tell-a-friend

We received this ping from Ishbadiddle on August 2, 2004 09:28 PM:

If Britain Had Lost the War: Next stop: Konventgarten.... [more]

The Cartoonist said on April 7, 2004 03:43 PM:

Horst, you're mad. Absolutely insane. This is brilliant. Fab. Great. I love it.

nora said on April 7, 2004 03:51 PM:

me too me too, not mad bit lovin' it ... schlammrutsche ... what a treat!

The Cartoonist said on April 7, 2004 04:26 PM:

Mhm...aber "Hammersmith" hätt ich denn doch lieber mit "Hammerschmitt" übersetzt gesehen. Nichtsdestotrotz ist es absolut gigantisch. Dein Server wird sich in Rauch auflösen. Wegen all der Hits.

Horst said on April 7, 2004 04:56 PM:

Na, ich hoffe nicht, ist nämlich nicht mein Server, sondern der gehört der Uni, und ich glaube, die mögen das nicht so gern. Würd mich aber wirklich wundern, wenn der Traffic deswegen überdimensional ansteigen würde.

Ich könnte ein Quiz starten, welche von den Stationsnamen "echt" übersetzt sind... dummerweise habe ich selber ein bisschen den Überblick verloren.

The Cartoonist said on April 7, 2004 06:48 PM:

Glaub ich gern. Das mit dem Überblick.

sabine said on April 7, 2004 10:42 PM:

Nimmdillzirkus! Ganz geboren! Danke, Horst, ein großer Spaß!

rob klok said on April 7, 2004 11:12 PM:

Extremely funny, and very clever done, congratulations. I dare you to do the same to the Amsterdam tram-map. To translate English station names into German is difficult, to do the same in Dutch must be hell!

Harald Jahn said on April 8, 2004 11:02 AM:

Tolle Sache :-)

Harald Jahn (Xobarap#149 ;-)

laura said on April 9, 2004 05:50 AM:

Wow. I wonder if there's some way you can make money off of it. Is it true that, when turned on its end, hung like a mobile, and spun, it assumes the double helix shape of human DNA?

Horst said on April 9, 2004 11:46 AM:

I think that's a rumour, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true.

Jan said on April 14, 2004 10:16 PM:

Großes Kino! :-)
[btw, bin bei drauf aufmerksam geworden..]

Annie said on April 15, 2004 09:15 PM:

I think you should contact Transport for London and maybe even the Tate Modern - I think this maybe counts as Art ... ???

Stefan Bethke said on April 17, 2004 04:48 PM:

Noch ein paar Pläne, unter anderem The Great Bear: Stationsnamen sind Fußballer, Künster, Philosophen, etc...

Horst said on April 17, 2004 11:19 PM:

Well, Simon Patterson's "Great Bear" is obviously a classic, but he's been reproduced so often that I thought everybody knew him anyway &mdash, that's why I didn't bother to mention him.

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