Monday, 20 May 2013

Let’s Raise A Toast

It’s not been a great weekend for toast. I can only hope you had better luck with yours than I did with mine…

On Sunday morning my breakfast toast was burned to cinders (almost) by my old toaster, which refused to throw the bread put in back up again.

Later on in the day I went out and bought a new one; and then decided to give it a test run for my afternoon tea.

So far, so good. It seemed to know how to do its job.

Then I bit into the toast and broke a tooth…

Which meant oatmeal porridge for supper, and just a banana-soy milk smoothie for breakfast this morning; and then a visit to the dentist instead of the pool…

I was lucky though, in that my usual dentist was able to receive me on short notice. At first when I called they squeezed in an emergency appointment around lunchtime; but ten minutes later the nurse called me back and said they’d just had a cancellation if I could come earlier. I could, so I did.

It turned out to be one half of a tooth with an old root-filling that had cracked. (The root-filling explains why I did not get into more pain than I did.) As the other half still seemed okay my dentist managed to do some magic at both less cost and less pain than I had expected.

Coming home from the dentist’s at lunch time, I was hungry but still sore and numb… Solved it by making myself some “baby food”! (Leftovers chopped in the mixer, and eaten luke warm… No culinary hit, but it did its job.)

Not ready to try toast again this evening, I think! Winking smile Possibly a soft cheese sandwhich with a cup of not-too-hot tea while I contemplate the possibilities of getting the manufacturer of the toaster to pay my dental bill…?

Nah, maybe not! ;) But if I’d had a different kind of accident – like a fire caused by placing an inappropriate object on top of the toaster – then perhaps I might have been able to sue someone re the Swedish manual. (The new toaster came with a few more functions than my old one, like defrosting and reheating; that’s why I bothered to read it.)

Translation jokes are not easy to convey unless the reader knows both languages… But maybe if I turn part of it back into English it may give you a rough idea:

"To heat up, place the bowl in bread compartment, to sink the lever the wagon the control until it clicks in place and push reheating the button.”

The most puzzling part was the bowl (“skålen” in Swedish). What bowl?? 

So I turned to the English part of the manual:

"To reheat, place toast into the bread slots, lower the carriage control lever until it clicks into place and press the Reheat button."

Toast in English has two meanings, rarely confused with each other: 1. “sliced bread heated and browned” or 2. “A proposal to drink to someone or something or a speech given before the taking of such a drink.”

In Swedish:

toast 1 = rostat bröd

toast 2 = skål!

a skål is also – a bowl

(Try to get that into the toaster if you can!)

Let’s have a vote. Do you think the translation was made by a human or by a computer?

(Pictures in this post from Google Images)



  1. i think it was made my someone who did not speak english or swedish, i am thinking Chinese... when i called our health insurance provider today, i had to listen to English, then spanish and then Chinese... it looks great, hope it works out for you

  2. Of course a computer, or else someone on the sub continent of India, which is where everyone in the whole world of tech support now exists. And all on 800 numbers! I think that your filling was ready to come out and would have no matter what, so good you got into your dentist right away! I have a toaster oven and really love it, because you can do everything in it, and bake without heating the kitchen up. BUT real toasters make the most even toast.

  3. Reading that, I don't know whether to laugh or cry, Monica!!
    I am so sorry that you had to go through all that just for a piece of toast - which, I guess, you still haven't had by the time I am typing this.

    1. Don't cry, Meike :) But you're right, I decided to wait another day or two with the next toast experiment...

  4. I'm sorry to laugh at your misfortune....Google translate has much to be proud of but it is still far from perfect.

    1. Laugh away, Adrian. As I said to a friend I spoke to on the phone, at least one feels oddly better being able to say to one's dentist (and knowing it to be the honest truth) that it was a piece of toast that did it, rather than a piece of toffee...

  5. Sorry to hear about your broken tooth, but at least you were able to have it fixed promptly.
    Most appliance manuals these days seem to be written by persons whose first language is not English.
    Here we also use the word "toast" to describe something that is no longer, for example, "The tv is no longer's toast."

    1. So one could say: "The toaster is no longer working... it's toast" ?? LOL

  6. I'm reading this whilst having my breakfast of, you guessed it, toast.

  7. Hope that went well. I still haven't made a new attempt! Some day... ;)


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