Saturday, January 20, 2007

Speaking of printing offensive words

THe January 4-11, 2007 issue of the Nordstjernan (the weekly newspaper for Swedish-Americans) has an article on Marjaneh Bakhtiari, a young Swedish-Iranian author. Marjaneh has a book out called Kalla det vad fan du vill (Lit: 'Call it what the devil you want').

There are two funny things about the article. First, the headline is simply the title of the book, except rather than print fan they print 'f-n'. But in the body of the article and the caption to the photo of the author they print the full title without disguising the offensive word. I'm not sure what is going on with the editorial staff at Nordstjernan.

The other funny thing is that the article translates the title of the book as Call it Whatever You Want. They seem not to be alone since the Iranian news site I linked to earlier calls it Name it Whatever You Wish. I would've translated it as Call it Whatever the Hell You Want.

Well, the book sounds worthwhile:

It is the story of two Iranian and Swedish families. When the Iranian father comes to Europe, it seems strange to him that no one knows Ferdowsi there. But he never thinks that he himself does not know anything about the history and literature of Sweden. He just wants to prove that Iranians are different from Arabs. But no one can understand him. Then the family lives in the past.
The mother of the family is a physics researcher and she is not interested in history and the past. She wants to learn Swedish language and their custom. But she cannot find an opportunity to communicate naturally.
The Iranian family gets acquaintance with the Swedish family. The mother of the family looks at the people as the cultural subjects which can make her life more interesting.

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