16 Nov Why isn’t Black Friday always translated in other languages
While we are still recovering from the fright of Halloween – and the invasion of the recently imported clown assassins– another North American custom is waiting just around the corner: Black Friday. Just like that, untranslated, even though there are other suggestions, such as “Discount Friday”, it doesn’t sound as good. Curiously enough, if one day isn’t enough to satisfy our shopping urges, we still have Cyber Monday – to just to make sure that we still have alternatives– to finally convince ourselves that shopping will make us happier, above all, if we do it in English and not in our native language.Why do we prefer to consume on Black Friday and not Discount Friday?
Nevertheless, we can console ourselves in the fact that we are not the only ones that seem –in general– reluctant to translate the name of this shopping day par excellence to each country’s own language, as you can see on this page. In countries as distinctly different like Poland, Brazil or Finland, the general trend is to maintain the original name. We don’t know for sure if this is due to some unwritten pact. Is it that what comes from abroad seems more interesting? Are we already, in some way, resigned to the dominance of English? Whatever the reason may be, the influence of the United States culture, in general, and of anglicisms in particular, in today’s world is undeniable.
Black Friday, however, is far from the only tradition that would have copied and pasted from the United States. For years now we’ve been celebrating Halloween, St Valentine’s Day, we see cheerleaders at sporting events and a hold baby showers for expectant mothers, to mention a few of the more popular examples. Fast Food –we´re not sure if any irony was intended– that their restaurant chains prepare for us, also drives us crazy, and the names that we give our children without the correct spelling, at worst. As a result, we have several generations of young people called Kevin, Ethan, Jennifer and Jessica, fans of television series originating from the United States, who are already willing to spend their weekly pay on the forthcoming Black Friday, maybe with their graduation ball in mind Or maybe not, as there is still a lot of school time ahead.
At Okodia we always like to look at the positives and feel that this invasion of outside customs and foreign words, can sometimes be an opportunity to come into contact with a foreign language for the first time. Or at least, it should not be seen as a chance to ruin it in any way. For that matter, we hope that at the very least nobody forgets the capital letter in the days of the week, a mistake the primary pupil would spot immediately. Or that somebody is curious about the correct pronunciation of cyber, for example. Any excuse is valid when it helps us to learn new things about a language, however small and insignificant they may seem.
Meanwhile, will keep our eye on the other side of the ocean, to learn about their customs and fashion, to import them intact and untranslated to our own society. We now have to wait and see which one will be next. Donald Trump’s wig_