A serious post will follow and is being lovingly crafted in the ether, but for now, I just have to share this with you. My linguistic antennae often twitch when I see an interesting magazine or newspaper – one of the things I love about browsing in London newspaper shops is the sheer variety of reading matter in various languages, and if I go on holiday somewhere I always get a copy of a local newspaper, even if I don’t understand a word. It gives me a feel for the place.
There’s a magazine for every interest. I love them. You might remember me extolling the virtues of Miniature Railway magazine a while back, but I think this has to be the most esoteric yet . . . Baltic Railways Magazine. There is a market for a magazine dedicated to the railways of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with every article duplicated in both Lithuanian and English. Of course, I simply HAD to buy a copy. I’m not in the least interested in Baltic rail, of course, though you never know, one day I might find myself tootling out of Tallinn, riding the rails in Riga, or voyaging in Vilnius, but it is just the mind-boggling concept that someone cares enough to publish a magazine on their niche interest and make sure it reaches as wide a readership as possible by translating it with care, pride, and passion. Isn’t that heartening?
And this I purchased in Wales, where everything is bilingual, and read in a Viennese coffee shop in Cardiff with a menu that almost prompted me to order in German. Fab coffee and fab apfelstrudel, and we felt right at home.