Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Professional Life

Alison, who is Older than Jesus, posts regularly about her professional life. Her most recent post is about her job as translator. Alison is one of my favorite writers and one of my oldest friends. She's vintage. I wanted to comment on her site, but I got, well, wordy. So this post rises up out of and is completely inspired by her post, which I recommend.

The yellow-haired child says something to Mr. Smith, I laugh; Mr. Smith smiles and nods with eyebrows raised. I interpret, but it spoils the conversation - like explaining a joke.

Sometimes Mr. Smith will look at me and say, "What'd she say?" And I'll shake my head and say, "I have no idea." Sometimes I'm lying.

. . . . .

My yellow-haired child has some dysfluency issues currently so that makes the job of translating particularly difficult with my short attention span and 3-kb memory:

"Ah wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa . . ."

"Look at me, Sweetheart," I say gently. She looks at me.

"Ah wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa mah jess."

"You want your chips?"

"No, ah wa mah jess!"

"You want your dress?"


Translating is part of my profession too. And it's usually not so easy - many times it breaks down into one or both of us throwing fits. But we stick it out because the benefits, Ah! the benefits are overwhelming.


alison said...

Thanks for the sugar.

Einstein's Protege speech was incredibly delayed, understandably. His only word for some time was Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma. He couldn't stop at just Ma- ma. That took more linguistic control than he had for years. Oh the stories I could tell...and will.

I love Kid Speech and listen intently to every little person's accent.

Would you and yours want to come eat with me and mine when you are in this neck of the woods? We have lots of things to intrigue little girls and many a trash can for the Raccoon. I realize you probably have a lot on your social plate but we would love to visit if you were able to come or we could come East to you if you couldn't take another minute in the van.

No pressure. E-mail me when you can.

Jamie Dawn said...

I miss those days of trying to decpher my kids' speech. Our daughter was the one that needed translating the most. Our son talked like a little grown-up practically from the womb.

I loved how some of the things that my daughter said wrong, were picked up by my son because he thought that's how the words were said. My son loved the classic movie King Kong. My dad showed it to him when he was a toddler. Taylor would say, "Kon Kink!"