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.