Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Ancient rituals practiced by translators

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

(This story was inspired by something funny I witnessed the other day.)


Never ask a translator what a certain word means when you’re in a hurry. Just look it up in a dictionary and save yourself a lot of grief. Because a translator will never give you the answer straight away. Oh no.


You see, translation is the second oldest profession known to humanity, so perhaps unsurprisingly some rather elaborate traditions have evolved over the millennia and they are duly followed by translators to this day. If you for example ask your translator what any word means she’s obligated to perform The Barrage, a much-feared and little-understood ancient ritual. What will happen is this.


First, your translator will blurt out an intimidating number of possible meanings and translations in rapid succession & random order. Your heart will start sinking at this point. But it’ll be too late for fears and regrets…


When she finally gathers her composure and stops hyperventilating, she’ll mercilessly interrogate you about the context, the intended audience and whatnot. Without fail. Go ahead and try it if you don’t believe me. If she’s any good she’ll flood you with questions until you’re swimming for your life, vulnerable and unable to gather the strength to resist this already second unexpected assault from the otherwise probably quite gentle, mild-mannered, perhaps even a bit shy creature. Your desperate attempts to provide her with the context she demands might leave you divulging confidential information. Luckily she’s a pro and knows how to handle delicate stuff.


Then she *might* even tell you the translation you need but that won’t stop her from embarking on a lengthy monologue that’ll lovingly explore each possible nuance of every single translation she mentioned in her initial outburst, coming up with many others as she goes on and on and on. She’s sure to explain all those linguistic subtleties only translators are willing to discern or care about. No escape here.


(It’s your fault really. You should have known better than to awake The Translator. You see, translators do know a lot about words. And combinations thereof. If you give them the right cue they’ll surely show you just how much they know.)


Your muttered pleas and objections having to do with you *not actually needing to hear all that right now, your migraine acting up or your ears starting to bleed* will be ignored throughout the ordeal.


In the end you’ll be left standing there, quivering with exhaustion, quietly swearing never to unleash The Translator again and – perhaps for the first time – fully appreciating the true value of a good dictionary.


And then your translator will inevitably ask if there’s anything else you’re curious about. Shake your head quietly, do not make eye contact, walk away slowly. Do not ask anything. Failing to do so will result in The Barrage being performed all over again, this time with cross-references to your previous question.

If you like chatting on the phone…

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

please call my land line. Not my cell phone.

Each and every time I talk on my mobile phone for any considerable length of time I get an annoying headache.

That’s why I keep most of my conversations short and to the point. Please don’t mistake this for rudeness. Thanks :)

All about Eve

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

This looks a bit empty …


Actually it’s been looking ‘a bit’ empty for a couple of years now.


Apparently I’m not much of a blogger.


When I feel I really have something to say I usually say it face-to-face. A bit old-fashioned, I guess.


I think I’ll write something anyway. Too much blank on the screen is bad for the environment, or so they say. Or have I completely failed to understand what Google Black was about :)


Maybe I’ll even post some pictures; I have a garden now (yes I own real estate, isn’t this cool?). Tell you what – if I manage to grow some impressive vegetables I’ll boast them here. How exciting.


And I’ll probably post some photos of my cavies (that’s what the cool animal fanciers call their guinea pigs). As soon as I get them to pose.


Until I have some pics to show, here’s some text:


I’m a translator & interpreter (English<>Slovenian). A bit of a workaholic.


An early bird; I’m usually up and about way before 6 am. I’m five foot seven, rather athletic. When I’m not working, I’m probably reading. When I’m neither working nor reading, I’m doing my aerobics. I listen to opera and house (there are probably support groups for people like me out there). I sometimes write poetry and short stories. I’m into airsoft. Despite this funny array of qualities I’m quite sociable and for some reason people tolerate me rather well.


I’m good with computers. My best and at the same time my worst feature is my curiosity – which also makes me a good Darwin Award candidate. There’s no construction site too scary for me to explore in the night. If somebody mentions they know about a haunted house I’m on my way there before they got a chance to finish their sentence.


People say I’m a good cook. Which is a bit unexpected considering I’m a vegetarian (and most folks are not). My style of cooking is, well, opportunistic. Meaning I look around the kitchen, pick up some random items and combine them into something never seen before, yet very edible. This is a skill I acquired while I was a student. You know how it is; you have no money, there’s a can of peas and half a lemon in the fridge – and four people just called to tell you they’re coming over. And you still manage to make a dinner from the stuff you have at your disposal and a cup of flour you borrowed from your long-suffering neighbour. Yeah, this definitely IS a style of cooking; maybe I should write a cookbook 😀 Just kiddin’ 😉


Enough for now. As my latest pet paranoia happens to be identity theft you’ll just have to meet me in person to learn more.