Monday, June 04, 2007

Lives in Letters: Postcard from a Swedish Tourist

How interesting is this postcard?

I did my very best to translate the Swedish word by word into something that resembles English. (It actually took me a while to figure out that it was Swedish rather than German, Dutch, etc. -- thank goodness for the internet!) If anyone out there can read Swedish, and wants to take a look at the original in somewhat less-than-pristine handwriting, I'd love to learn how bad my translation actually is. Plus, I have a few blanks to fill in.

Army, Navy and Reserve
Washington, D.C.
September 21, 1918

Addressed to
Mrs. Enack C-
Jamestown, NY

Notes written sideways on each of the people on front:

Navy – “your little brother”
Girl – “my little reserve”
Army – “your little hubbie”

Message on back:
Fredriksburg Virginia
Torsdag middag (Thursday midday)

We went
to Richmond this morning.
We went out for a stroll
through town, we found it
pleasant. Oh I felt proper
elegant. So we were not sad.
We came into Washington
around 3 ??. I hope
we go to see the President. I was not
sad for ????. XXX

??? but we are here in
Washington we shall
eat dinner here.
I wish you were here now.

Take a look at the notes written on the front of the postcard. I believe that "my little reserve" is the woman to whom this is addressed. I believe that "your little hubby" is the author of this postcard, and is married to the addressee.

Isn't that just adorable?

It's hard to tell from this message, especially my translation, but I'd guess that the author of this postcard was in the military, and headed off to serve during "The Great War." You can check out a war timeline here, and see what was going on in 1918 when this postcard was sent.

I really have to wonder if I got the translation right. Why so much "sadness" in this message? Even though he's saying "not sad" it makes me curious.

One more note... I don't know why it took me so long to figure out this was Swedish. It was sent to Jamestown, where there is a large Swedish population. And I knew that, because my brother has Swedish in-law family in that area. Of course, this lovely and funny lady was born in Jamestown, but is NOT Swedish.

1 comment:

featherbee said...

I'm wondering if the "I was not sad for ????" could have been something like I was not homesick?