01 September 2008

Sometimes We Eat Babies (or Lost in the Translation Rabbit Hole)

Today I was encouraging Lorena, one of my Monday-Wednesday students, to speak so I told her to give me the highlights of her weekend, using the simple past, of course. After telling me that her husband and she ate sushi one day, she proceeded to tell me how the next evening the whole family went out and ate bunny.
--Wait, I said, you ate bunny?
--Yes, and it was delicious.
--You ate little baby bunnies?
--Yes?
--That's barbaric.
--What is this barbaric?
--Cruel. Cave-man. Indecent.
--Sorry?
--So you really ate little bunnies? I asked, half-laughing, half-horrified.
--Oh yes.
--Are you sure you don't mean rabbit.
--Rabbit?
--Yeah, rabbit. Conejo. Rabbit.
--Oh, yes that's what ate. Rabbit.
--Well, at least you didn't eat the babies.
--No.
--Still, didn't you feel like they were saying: ¡No me matés por favor!
This is where she got a little defensive. --No, acá es así. That's how we do it here in Buenos Aires.
--Savages. You guys are savages, I said in English. And then I quickly changed the subject.

4 comments:

Gwen E. Kirby said...

jackson,

i am sorry that i didn't get to meet you at the dem event! the speech was exciting and i share your feeling that this election is important in many deeply fundamental ways.

also, as i fellow english teach, i related strongly to this blog post. the miscommunications possible when teaching a foreign language are endless.

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Hi Gwen!

Yes, I love the misunderstandings. They're a source of so much beauty really. You know, I've found that understanding Spanish has helped me understand what my students are trying to say. Anyway, gobama 08'!

allslots said...

Screwing the system often means screwing you

Allison said...

Jackson,
I love posts that make me laugh out loud. Thanks for this one.