The top 3 of translator’s homesickness or what I miss the most while living in the US

The top 3 of translator’s homesickness or what I miss the most while living in the US

A common thing about the translation professions is that many translators do not reside in their home country. Very often they end up being stuck between two cultures. I am no different, and I am happy to share my most missed things while living in the US.

1) The Classic (“Klassiker”): German Bakery and Bread Rolls

This is the classic one:  pretty much 100% of all Germans overseas miss their German bakeries, bread and bread rolls. There should be no need to go into detail about the “local” US bread. The degree of fluffiness cannot be described in words. Are there any exceptions you might wonder? No, there are not. I envy those fellow Germans that are lucky to live near a German run bakery (I would be happy to offer my fullest support to any German baker intending to migrate to Columbus).

2) The sizzling and somewhat aggressive soccer stadium atmosphere

Yes, there is the MLS and Columbus (where I live) even has a team. In that regard Columbus actually beats my hometown of Cologne whose team is currently (once again) only playing the 2. Bundesliga. But, I miss the atmosphere. The Columbus Crew crowd is pretty interested in their soccer, but it just doesn’t even come close to level the aggressive, sizzling and sometimes almost somewhat fanatic atmosphere of the Cologne, Dortmund, Schalke  etc. stadiums. Also, due to the big distances in the US, there is usually no significant away team crowd that needs to be overcome by rude home team supporter chants.

3) The Christmas markets

OK, the traditional German Christmas markets that start across the country everywhere usually on the first advent are probably another 100% Klassiker (see term above). There is just nothing that is more fun than to enjoy the Christmas lights outside in a historic downtown area in a freezing December night with a steaming hot Gluehwein (aka mulled wine or glogg) or Feuerzangbowle (aka fire punch) containing plenty of alcohol to keep you warm. Now, we have tried to reenact the fire punch part once for our friends at home, and the outcome was a friendly bewilderment; to put it mildly.

But enough of my experience and over to you guys. What do you miss most about home when writing, translating and living abroad?

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2 Responses to “The top 3 of translator’s homesickness or what I miss the most while living in the US”

  1. Great post. I am not a translator, but I often feel like I have entered a different country moving from the Pacific NW to the Midwest. I miss so many things from my birth place. It’s a whole different world here.

  2. I like it when someone says, “Oh, you’re Italian? What’s your favorite Italian restaurant?” And I respond, “My mom’s house.”

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