24.5.12

Lost in translation: Antwerp

My first visit to Antwerp was about 13 years ago, funny story actually: I ended up in Antwerp without knowing where I was. See, in Spainsh Antwerp is Amberes, and I obviously knew that Amberes is a super important port city in Belgium, famous because of the beautiful cathedral with Rubens' paintings, etc. But when I was told we were going on a trip to Antwerp my mind was blank. 13 years ago I didn't use the internet that much so I didn't do any research about this misterious place named Antwerp and went there anyways without knowing what I was gonna find there. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in this beautiful city, and saw the big port, the beautiful monuments, high end boutiques, diamonds, etc.! how could I have not know about Antwerp before?!? It all came clear while walking around the town, I stopped at a souvenir shop and noticed the photo books in all different languages: Antwerpen, Antwerp, Anvers, Anversa, 安特衞普, Антверпен and of course Amberes! It was so reliefing to finally know where I was!
Antwerp
Another funny story, when I started learning Italian, I was constantly reading about examples like "Klaus è tedesco, vive a Monaco" ("Klaus is German, he lives in Monaco") and I thought: OK, he's German and lives abroad in Monaco, where the Formula 1 takes place. But I kept hearing about people going to "Monaco" and I thought, why is it so important that everybody goes there? Until I saw a map: 'Monaco' in Italian is Munich, München in Germany!