The Message: My Translation Wants List
Even though I now have dozens of translations of the Kinder Surprise warning message, I still want more! If like me, when you browse the growing list of translations, you notice the languages that are missing, perhaps you can help?
Collectors of Kinder Eggs often post their ‘wants lists’ online and, while my collection is less tangible, my desire to accumulate is no less strong. What follows are the languages into which, at the time of writing, I am keenest to see the Message translated. Of course, I want to see translations into every language, so just because a language isn’t listed here it doesn’t mean that it won’t be gratefully received!
Do you know any of the languages well enough to produce a translation? Or do you know someone who does? If so, contact me. All translations will be added to the list of translations, with due credit given. While I will, of course, accept a translation from any existing Official Message (i.e. one that appears on the Manuscript inside a Kinder Surprise egg), most of the existing translations are from the English Message, which reads as follows:
WARNING, read and keep: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled.
Here is my wants list:
- Faroese: Completes the set of Scandinavian languages of government.
- Sarkese/Sercquiais: Completes the set of Norman French languages of the Channel Islands
- Ossetian: Completes the set of official languages of successor states of the former Soviet Union (even though South Ossetia is not recognised by most countries)
- Burmese, Lao and Khmer: The only official languages of Asia that I do not have.
- Marathi: The only one of the world’s top 20 spoken languages into which I have yet to receive a translation of the Message.
- Frisian: I somehow neglected to commission a Frisian translation in the Babel Message. This language (which itself has a number of variants) is sometimes said to be the closest living relative of English
- Indigenous languages of North and Central American: In Chapter 9 of The Babel Message I discuss why I stopped actively pursuing translations into the indigenous languages of North and Central America. I would still be thrilled to receive a translation into any of these tongues though. In particular, I would love to see the Message translated into Cherokee or any other language with its own syllabary.
- West and Central African languages: While I have translations into Swahili, Zulu, Seto, Amharic and Moroccan Arabic, I don’t have translations into any languages from West and Central Africa. I would love to receive Messages in Igbo, Wolof, Kinyarwanda etc.
- Pacific island languages: I would love Fijian and Hawaiian in particular.
- Jewish languages: While I have Modern and Biblical Hebrew, Talmudic Aramaic, Yiddish, Ladino and Judeo-Arabic, there are many other Jewish tongues (some extinct) with which I am fascinated. Judeo-Italian, Bukhori, Judeo-Greek etc would all be wonderful to read.
- Gallego and other Spanish tongues: Gallego (Galician) would complete the set of the most widely-spoken regional languages of Spain’s autonomous regions. I would also love to see more of the many Romance variants on the Spanish peninsula: Asturian, Aragonese etc.
- British Sign Language: While I include a transcription of the BSL Message in The Babel Message, and link to a video of the Message in American Sign Language, I don’t actually have a video of the Message in BSL. I’d love to receive one.
I have also tried to compile a list of every ‘official’ language – again, using Wikipedia – into which I do not have a Message translation. While what ‘official’ means depends on the country or region, this is a good rough-and-ready guide to the bits of the map that are ‘officially’ Message-less (I haven’t listed them by country as some of them are spoken in multiple countries):
- Hiri Motu
- Seychoillois Creole
- Southern Ndebele
Ideally, I would like to have a Message into at least one language from every language family in the world (plus into language isolates too). Of the top ten language families by total number of languages (not by speakers) – a list of which I found on Wikipedia, caveat emptor – I don’t think I have a translation of the Message in a language from any of these families:
Can you supply translation of the Message into any of these languages? Or do you know anyone who can? If so, contact me