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Scan Magazine | Humour | Lost for Words

Lost for Words In these days of intense email use, it seems amazing that there is still no official name for the @ sign. It is generally called the ‘at’ symbol, but other languages have come up with all kinds of mostly animalistic nicknames. Some Finns and Swedes, for example, see it as a cat curled up with its tail. Swedish has ‘kattsvans’ and Finnish has at least three names for this idea: ‘kissanhäntä’, translating as ‘cat tail’, ‘miaumerkki’, meaning ‘meow sign’, and ‘miukumauku’, which means something like ‘meowmeow’. In Turkish and Arabic it is an ear, in Swedish specifically an elephant’s ear (elefantöra) and in both Swedish and Danish most commonly an elephant’s trunk (snabel). It is also

sometimes referred to as ‘grisehale’ in Norwegian, meaning a ‘curly pig’s tail’, and a ‘kanelbulle’, a ‘cinnamon bun’, to Swedes. What animal is your @ sign? More than talking about the world wide web in zoo-like terms, the Sami people of northern Scandinavia have highly specific terms for family members and relationships, veering on the fastidious: there is ‘goaski’ for one’s mother’s elder sisters, and ‘sivjjot’ for one’s older sister’s husband. One’s mother’s younger sisters are referred to as ‘muotta’, while one’s father’s younger sisters are known as ‘siessa’. One’s mother’s brothers are ‘eanu’, her brothers’ wives ‘ipmi’,

By Adam Jacot de Boinod Illustration by Markus Koljonen

and one’s brother’s wife a ‘mangi’. You still with us? Things are about to get additionally bewildering. From ‘Around the rugged rock, the ragged rascal ran’ to ‘red leather, yellow leather’, a key part of mastering a language is being able to master its tongue twisters, always decidedly odd sentences. One Swedish tongue twister featuring the f sound focuses on sheep: “Far, får får får? Nej, får får inte får, får får lamm” (which, obviously, means “Father, do sheep have sheep? No, sheep don’t have sheep, sheep have lambs”). Now, until next time, make sure you know your elephant’s trunks from your goaskis and your sheep!

Adam Jacot de Boinod was a researcher for the BBC television series QI and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and the creator of the iPhone App Tingo, a game involving interesting words. Here he looks at what interests the outside world about the Scandinavian languages.

Bloggers’ Corner: The very best of the Anglo-Scandinavian blogosphere: from films to fitness

Staying on track for the British summer Much as we train and abstain in the lead-up to the summer holidays, once it is upon us, we enter frenzied holiday mode and indulge in everything going. To avoid this comically binary approach to healthy living, below are my eight tips to staying on track during the temptation months.

measuring tape. Nothing feels as good as seeing the genuine progress you are making!

By Faya Nilsson

1. CONSISTENCY: Planning and organisation matter, so diarise intended sessions. Make them a priority and then ‘consume’ them on schedule, so that fitness becomes part of your routine. 2. WEEKLY TARGETS: Progress is never instant, so set realistic weekly, bite-sized goals. ‘Slow and steady’ yields sustainable results. 3. EATING: Indulge in seasonally delicious treats such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries (the staples of my Swedish childhood!). A clean diet of lean protein, healthy fats and delicious veggies is ideal, and rather than rich sauces, develop flavours with herbs and spices. 4. HYDRATE: The body is 70 per cent water but can only absorb around 200 millilitres per hour. Stay optimally hydrated throughout the day.

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5. SLEEP IT OFF: Sleep wondrously repairs the body, mentally and physically. Aim for a solid 7.5 hours to achieve 5 REM cycles of quality rest. 6. REALISM: It is not all or nothing, but rather as often as possible. Walk where possible, take the stairs at work, climb the tube station escalators and stay mobile! 7. STRETCH: Stretching aids recovery and balance and releases built-up tension and stiffness that the humid heat can encourage, whilst sculpting beautifully lengthened muscles. 8. MEASURE: Tracking helps you train smarter. Write down workouts so you can build upon them next time and keep your body guessing (the unfamiliar routine burns more calories). Take weekly progress photos and use a simple

Faya Nilsson is a Swedish personal trainer living and working in London’s West End, and is the author of, one of the UK’s leading fitness blogs, full of workout tips, yummy recipes and fitness fashion looks.

Profile for Scan Group

Scan Magazine | Issue 66 | July 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Lars Mikkelsen.

Scan Magazine | Issue 66 | July 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Lars Mikkelsen.