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December 7, 2010

Spiel Karten or Google it

Filed under: Columns — Ron @ 5:20 am

A couple of months ago one of my wife’s students, Kameron found out that I collect playing cards.  I know that is strange but hey, they are free to cheap and well, you know me.  You readers may take that as a hint…I like playing cards with different flipside pictures on them.  I have them from around the world, different brands, sports, etc.  (This is not meant as a hint, but if you take it that way…)

Let’s get back to the story.  Kameron’s grandfather went to Europe. Before he left his grandson asked if he could get me a neat deck of cards to add to my collection.  (He can count on my influence with his teacher pushing for his good grades.)

When his grandfather got back home he had a deck of cards for me; however, in all the hustle and bustle of his trip he didn’t remember where he had gotten them.  In step Kameron, my wife and Google.com.

The problem was that the majority of words on the box were in a foreign language and they did not have any idea what they said.  They wanted to be able to tell me where the cards came from so they started searching on the web.  They did see some recognizable words, “playing cards”, “casino”, “Las Vegas” and a trademark on the box but after that all was lost.

They went to Google and typed, “Spiel Karten” and not much came up except some German appearing sites, with pictures of decks of cards.  Next they typed, “Translate spiel karten” and found that that is German for … are you ready?  Playing Cards.  They now figured these cards came from Germany.

However, Kameron noticed on the bottom of the box a logo with the words, “Panco Carta.” This was another mystery to be solved so…back to Google.

They found out that Panco Carta did not translate into anything recognizable.  However, they did find a company with that name which happened to be located in Athens, Greece; another success!

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And now, can you guess with the Panco Carta Company does?  They have been into card manufacturing since 1983, so says their site, www.pancocarta.gr.  By-the-way, the GR on the end of their domain name means that most likely the site is a Greek owned site.  They have an interesting site or actually two sites, one in English and the other in Greek.  Since Kameron’s granddad went to Greece on his trip, they decided it was a good bet that’s where he picked the cards up.

Just think, in the not-so-distant past it would have taken a German translator and maybe a Greek scholar to figure all this out.  With the internet it took maybe five minutes…wow.

So thanks again, Kameron, for the really neat cards!  Thank your granddad for me, too!

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