It Depends on the Language

@RasmaSandra (21217)
Daytona Beach, Florida
January 30, 2016 5:08pm CST
I just recently spoke to someone who didn’t speak English very well and it was quite difficult to understand her. It then dawned on me that there are people who attempt to translate what they want to say in English first in their own language. That never works very well because very few sentences can be translated directly. Instead they should be translated the correct way in your own language so that they other person can understand the meaning. By now you are probably more confused than ever before so let me give you some examples. When I still lived in New York my mom worked not far from where we lived so she had the time to make me a sandwich to have for breakfast before she went to work. One morning she had left me a sausage sandwich. We spoke Latvian at home so I often got my English mixed with my Latvian. That morning I was thinking in English and wanted to leave mom a note telling her why I didn’t eat the sandwich. In English it is alright to say, “I don’t feel like having sausage today”. In Latvian it is a disaster and when mom came home she found a note which told her that I didn’t feel like a sausage that day. Well she understood and it became like a little joke between us but you see direct translation doesn’t work. In Latvian I should have written that I wasn’t up to eating a sausage sandwich that morning. Well that example was easy to understand and mom and I got a laugh out of it but the next one is even better. This involved a little boy whose babysitter had brought him some cake. His parents had gone out and when he went to bed he decided to leave a note for his parents that there was some cake left in the fridge. Another child like me who is always getting his languages mixed up. He was thinking in English and writing in Latvian so the note said, “Cucina ir ledusskapi”. Translating this from Latvian to English it says, “The piglet is in the fridge”. You can imagine his parents’ faces when they read the note before they opened the fridge. You know that in English the word he wanted to write was cake however in Latvian the word is kuka. Plus he made the word cake as an endearment term and so he wound up with a piglet in the fridge. You can be sure that this was a number one topic among parents talking about their kids at parties and everyone could have a great laugh.
5 people like this
4 responses
@JudyEv (141939)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 Jan 16
In another of your posts, I asked what was the main language. I should have figured for myself it would be Latvian. Sorry
3 people like this
@RasmaSandra (21217)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
2 Feb 16
@JudyEv during occupation it was Russian. Anyway I responded to your question about the language. Nothing to be sorry about. Imagine what will happen when the refugees get here. Talk about confusion.
1 person likes this
@alchemistrx (2569)
• Philippines
31 Jan 16
Its crazy translation. It made me laugh. How can a piglet get into the fridge???
3 people like this
@Marcyaz (35589)
• United States
31 Jan 16
That is a good one to get your languages mixed up.
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
31 Jan 16
It is indeed not straightforward to go from one language to another.
1 person likes this