All posts tagged: language

Mired In Translation – #WeekendWritingPrompt

In some cases, the letter won’t translate. Specified language is always a little tricky, not like asking for directions to the swimming pool, or how much for the loaf of bread behind the counter.   You craft an art-form of assumptions. Cut loose the odd words, ones which clearly don’t fit in the rigid confines of business, ones surely not meant. Leave a framework of mundane.   Puzzle a meaning from the scraps, a rhythm for the found poem butchered out of miscommunication.   Send a response in English, cringe a little for the recipient, know they will likely do as you and turn to an app, a browser tab, punch in the words, frown at the nonsense.        

Fish Or Ferry

“No.” said Serena slowly, doing her best to annunciate and raise the decibel level with each syllable. “That wasn’t what I meant.” “Oui!” replied the French man enthusiastically from behind the market stall, fish still in hand as he gesticulated wildly. “Le poisson! Oui! Oui!” “Non. Non.” Serena felt the blush creeping up her throat as people began to stare. “Non poisson. Non poisson! Non Francey! Noney Francey!” “Oui poisson!” “I don’t want the bloody fish!” Serena screamed, throwing her hands onto her head and scrunching the large-brimmed sunhat between her fingers. “I asked where the ferry was! The ferry!”

Time to start fibbing.

Math? Hard, Hated, Couldn’t stand! All those equations! And the answers I couldn’t find! Yesterday I walked past the independent bookshop in my local town. I then doubled back and walked into the same bookshop, with the intent only to look and not to buy. My intent failed and I came out with two book, though I will defend my actions with the excuse that they were both on sale. The first was a book on how to throw the prefect tea party. I’m unsure when exactly I will be throwing this tea party, but I shall see. The second book is seeing slightly more action as I’m working my way through it with great joy. Sticky page markers have even been resurrected from the top drawer of my desk, bright pink and cheerfully reminding me where the most humorous passages are so far. Ben Macintyre has written a cracker of a book. Did you know that Humpty Dumpty isn’t just a nursery rhyme, it’s a true story? And a fib doesn’t have to be …