José Andersen. Olé!

Here’s a little funny Danish-Spanish translation-quirk, I heard in Denmark last week: My friend Nils is married to a lovely Spanish woman from Andalucia, so most summers they go with the kids from Denmark to Spain to visit the Spanish side of the family. This summer, somehow, Nils was talking to a Spanish family member about, as he is known in the English-speaking world, Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish fairy-tale writer. Now, in Denmark we all know him as just H. C. Andersen. That uniquely identifies Him, as otherwise there are so many Hans-Christians running around Denmark. So, we Danes NEVER refer to the famous author by his full name. Just H.C. However, some times we forget that the rest of the world knows him only by his full name…

The two initials, H. C., are pronounced in Danish as “Ho-See”. So, when my friend Nils asked his Spanish family member about his knowledge of  H. C. Andersen, the family member answered perplexed: “Sorry, I don’t think I know any José Andersen”…

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