Monday, August 17, 2009

Lost in Translation

The first time we went on holiday to Italy, which was when I was five-nearly-six, I was curious about whether Italian children had story books too. This was a subject dear to my heart as I loved stories.

"Oh yes, they do," said my mother.

I wondered whether I would be able to read their story books.

"So are the stories written down just like ours?" I asked.

"Yes, they're written down in just the same way that ours are," said my mother.

She thought I was asking if they used the same alphabet. I wasn't. I was asking if I would be able to read them. I assumed that, although their funny language might sound different, all would be calm and safety once it was written down, because I would then be able to understand it.

It was a big disappointment when I discovered that the selfish Italians chose to write their children's books in Italian.

So, that was in early July 1962, and I know, because we were there for my sixth birthday, in Laigueglia.

And now I'll jump forward in time to yesterday evening.

"How will you find your way round in Italy?" asked my mother.

"We've got a map, of course, and we're taking a satnav," I said "with the Italian maps in it. So when we're in the car, it will give us directions, just like it does here."

My mother looked puzzled.

"But will you be able to translate it fast enough?"


"Well, if you're in Italy, won't the satnav come out in Italian?"

And d'you know what, for a moment there I found myself wondering about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Belissimo, erm I mean lovely post :)

8:31 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

...So you're going to Italy. Have fun. There's so much to enjoy there off the beaten track. You're driving all the way from Leeds?

12:14 am  
Blogger Debby said...

OMG I SO can't wait to meet your mum!

1:42 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

You just need one of those Universal Translator thingies that Captain James Tiberius Kirk had on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

3:00 pm  

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