Wortspiele

Lost in translation.  That’s the latest incremental improvement in NATO’s Thor Liberty  cover  story.  Cargo manifests were not jocularly falsified by describing Patriot missiles as fireworks.  Instead, according to Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation

… this was a linguistic misunderstanding involving the words “rocket” and “missile.”   “There was no attempt in the documents to mislead in any way”, says Detective Superintendent Timo Virtanen.

all the way to Kotka ... in a storm ... for anchor chains. Riiiiight.

A bit of research with a certain well-known internet machine translation engine will lend the barest modicum of plausibility to this claim.  Rakete [De] –> raketti [Fi] –> rocket [En].   Flugkörper [De] –> ohjus [Fi] –> missile [En].  If, in Finland, raketti is the term commonly used in colloquial vernacular to describe the harmless diversions which provide colorful starbursts over Helsinki harbor on national holidays, it’s all good.  Otherwise, it’s a bit of a stretch.

It’s also possible that the Finns are indulging in some wordplay of their own.  Finnish contains another word that translates into the English term ‘rocket’ –haukkumiset. However, this is more of a verbal rocket (in the British sense):  it primarily means a scolding/ invective/ tongue-lashing/ telling-off/ going-over/ or roasting.  If you catch my drift.

Don’t piss off those Finns!   It’s going to be a long, dark winter.

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