Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Working in Translation

On Thursday I did something I have only done once before, a presentation through a language interpreter.  My office was visited by a delegation from mainland China. They had interesting and relevant questions about our work and the issues we work on.  The interpreter started out as very quiet and soft spoken, at the urging of both sides he become very engaged.  The amazing thing for me was the animated discussions members of the delegation had, debating questions to ask, and discussing the answers we had provided.  It was clear that most of them understood at least some English, I had no clue what they were saying.  

I came back to the office and did a google search for tips for working through an interpreter.  We didn't do too bad.  I was concerned that we were saying too many words before pausing for the interpreter to interpret. The experts urged completing the thought then allowing the interpreter to work, this is interpreting not translating.  A pure translation, well it results in lines like the first dessert on the menu above. The profiteroles were divine.     


  1. I would get the creme caramel myself. wonder what the first dessert was?

    1. It is the pastry chief's special of the day, that evening it was a chocolate hazelnut cake with fresh raspberries.

  2. I've seen some really disastrous translations on menus around town. Gazpacho has been Mayonnaise Soup. And many worse. On the other hand, I think having the house's little tart at my pleasure doesn't sound too bad.

  3. There is indeed a difference between interpreting and translating.
    Either way, I would have been intimidated.

    I think I'll try the little house tart.

  4. I have been to only one house tart of pleasure and I was told to make less noise.