Jun 4, 2013

Real-Time Translation

I happen to speak three languages; Swedish, English and Spanish. Conclusion one; the brain is only made to manage one language. I find myself frequently knowing the perfect word in all languages except for the one that I need to use in that very moment. Conclusion two; I am not a translator. Because in these situation, I try to real-time translate and my brain is unfortunately not powered by Google Translate.  

This explains conversations like me wanting to say in Spanish that a girl probably was feeling embarrassed, and my super power real-time translator decided that saying she was probably pregnant was the best translation (the spanish 'embarazada' means that you are expecting a child). It took some follow-up explanations to straighten out that conversation…

The latest example of struggling with words was when I for the first time gave a seminar about my work in Swedish (note; Swedish article. You might want to translate it…). I warned people ahead that words they did not get probably did not exist in the Swedish language.

So what does this have to do with Miss Cupcake playing with beads you might ask yourself? Very simple; there is a perfect word in Swedish to explain that she now loves to play with small objects that require a lot of attention with a high potential for the object to fall apart. Or as a Swede from the north would simplify into 'pillergöra'.

Impossible to translate the beauty and preciseness of that word in this context. So you just have to live with the fact that you will lack that word in your vocabulary for all times, if you are not Swedish that is.  

1 comment:

  1. Or try knäveck or armveck in English....