Visiting the web presence of Kulturzeit, a daily 40 minute TV program on culture and arts topics, I spotted the following headline: “Amazon joins ranks of book publishers.”
“Huh”, I thought, “has Kulturzeit discovered indie publishing? This is gonna be interesting.”
Alas, it turned out that the actual news item is just the announcement that Amazon’s publishing arm has signed up Tim Ferriss of 4-hour self-help fame for a seven figure advance. Here is the respective article from the Guardian, which has the advance that it’s a) in English and b) a lot more accurate than the Kulturzeit report.
Because there is one big and one smaller mistake in the Kulturzeit report. First of all, Kulturzeit claims that this is Amazon’s first venture into publishing, when there have been reports about authors signing with Amazon (e.g. Connie Brockway, Barry Eisler and even J.A. Konrath) every other week or so. The tradtional media, quick as always.
What is more, they also mistranslate the title of Tim Ferriss’ new book The 4-Hour Chef, because the English word “chef” does not translate into German as “Chef” (which means “boss” in German) but as “Koch” (cook) or “Küchenchef”. It’s a common mistake, an example of what we language teachers call “false friends”, a word in one language sounds like a word in another language that has a different meaning. But there really is no excuse for a highbrow cultural program to make such a mistake, considering I’m doing my best to keep my 7th and 8th graders from making mistakes like that.