Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Swedish Subway in English

My favorite Swedish news in English website has not let me down yet again! Now, not only am I able to get all the Swedish news in English that I can handle in a single sitting, I can also get the subway map Stockholm and it's ALSO in English! (Those guys at The Local, they're really into this whole "Swedish in English" thing they have going on over there. It's infiltrated into everything.

The Local provides the reader with an interactive subway map of Stockholm which shows the different routes with easy to distinguish, differentiating colors for each. And while it looks just oh-so attractive in any language really, they do have the following disclaimer (in English) at the bottom:

"The Local takes no responsibility for any missed trains, flights, dates, meetings or classes that may result from the use of this map. (Although it may provide you with a good excuse in the event of being late for any of these.) It is for entertainment purposes only and has not been endorsed by SL."

I like how they let you know that, even though it's not their fault, feel free to blame them anyway if you need to get out of a jam. So, has your curiosity peaked to the point where you're just dying to know about the subway system in English in Sweden? No? How about now? Still not? What if I do this? Ah-HA! I knew that would do it. (But that's why I don't eat shrimp.) Behold! A Swedish subway in English:

(You might have to click on the image above to enlarge it so that you'll be able to see all of the Swedish Subway stops in English. Stupid narrow column. )

First of all, Swedish subways, whether in Swedish or English, are pretty darn cool. Now, usually when I think "Subway", what's the first thing that pops into my mind? Sandwiches, correct. What's the second thing? Well, it's probably the dirty, stinky New York version of the subway that I think of. When I think "subway" (and I know there aren't any sandwiches around) in Swedish or in English, I certainly don't think of some sort of effeminate Bat Cave like they have over there in Sweden. (pic below). What the heck is that? I halfway expect the Batmobile to come zipping out of that arc in the middle there (only it would be a pink Mary Kay Cadillac with a stunning Bat logo on the hood.).

So, second of all, who is in charge of naming all of this stuff in English over there in Sweden? Whoever they are, they are mighty creative, I'll give them that. Not always the most appropriate, but creative nonetheless. Let's start with the blue, shall we? Over in the upper left area, stops that you can embark upon or disengage from on the Swedish subway system would include:
  • Wheeltown, Rodtown and Headtown. (I can see the correlation between Rodtown and Headtown, but what the heck is Wheeltown doing in there?)

  • Rink Village, House Village and Channel Village (Whereas with the Village stops, none of the Villages have anything to do with the other villages.)

  • Raspberry Mountain, Rice Island (The food concession stops.)

  • Coffin (Wait. What?)

Now, if we stay in the top section but move over the right to the Orange stops, we see that we can stop at, simply, The Field or The Stadium. We can also have our medical needs tended to at the Awful Village Hospital, whose name would imply they aren't all that good with the patients.

Head back over to the left and go across the green section of subway stops in English and we'll find we can get off at Big Bog or we at Mount Christine. You have to get off at Big Bog before your get off at Mount Christine (but that seems pretty self explanatory now, doesn't it?) There's quite a bit of diversity when naming the green stops, as there is Haymarket and Rock Star. (What's a Haymarket? Somewhere that you buy hay? Well, you're certainly not going to find a Rock Star buying Hay. Grass, maybe. Hay, not so much.)

More green stops also include:
  • Clog Mountain (Look for the sequel, Return to Clog Mountain, from Disney Pictures next fall!)

  • Barbican Toll (Yes, Barbican. The secret love child of Barbie and Conan the Barbarian, that is correct.)

  • Bog Cottage, Bakers Bog (Try not to get your bogs mixed up.)

  • Baffle Brink, A Spoon Farm, and Suspender Pen (Suspenders made out of pens? Pens made out of suspenders? I don't know which one it refers to, but they both seem pretty much impossible to pull off. Maybe that's how Baffle Brink got it's name.)

  • And the last two green stops on the Swedish subway in English are Fathertown and Sharp Nude. (I think you'll be visiting Fathertown right after you've spent a little time at the Sharp Nude, provided the Nude isn't too Sharp.)

It's when we head back to the lower half of the orange stops that the true diversity of the Swedish subway in English stands out. There's at least one of every "type" of Swedish thing that you can name things after in the name of every stop. There's a mountain, a cape, an island, a toll, some heights, a meadow, a farm, a Heath (and a Dalecarlian one at that. Whatever that is.), a marsh, a village, a grove, a creek, a square, a garland, a cottage, a market, a castle, one partridge, one pear tree. And while the green Fathertown Beach had the Sharp Nude as a fellow green stop, the orange stop has Wife Meadow. But, alas, Wife Meadow is next to Smelt Castle. (Hey! Wait a minute! Fathertown Beach gets a Sharp Nude, but the Wife Meadow gets Fish Castle?! How does THAT work? Wait. Never mind.)

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