Senseless Sunday Sarcasm : Lost in translation
My son speaks 5 languages — 3 of them fluently. He is very particular about words being well-spoken.
He dresses like this
In contrast, I dress like this
Both of us speak the same way we dress.
It’s bad enough to speak 3 languages better than 99% of the planet, but to have a mother who mixels up words (when the sound of it conveys her meaning better) HAS to be the closest thing to hell for a well-spoken professor.
The day he was married, his wife spoke only Portuguese, I speak English, my daughter has my lack of language finesse, and we were sitting in a Spanish restaurant just outside Gibraltar. He had to carry on a conversation in 3 languages with 3 other people and a waiter.
Yep. It got me to thinking (I know…I could hurt myself doing that). What must it be like to
- live with a translator,
- be a translator, and
- work as a translator if you don’t have as good a grasp of the language as your employers think you do?
To start with, an excellent translator must possess OCD on steroids:
And he’s had too many experiences with this:
…but mistakes do happen, and the result can be explosive under the right circumstances:
Then there are the things that could make a translator throw his hands in the air and say, “What the hell?”
There is ONE thing for certain:
And there are some things that defy translation entirely — if you’re a music major:
Last — but surely not least — above all else, a translator must strive for accuracy. Unfortunately, there are times that accurate translations can get you killed:
That’s all for today. I’m off to play scrabble with my SIL so that I can mangle more words.