Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On the subject of families

Try to imagine having a telephone conversation with someone who doesn’t speak your language and you don’t speak theirs. Now imagine this ‘conversation’ lasting for 17 minutes. One of Rob’s Norwegian cousins phoned the other day. She phones about twice a year and I always seem to be the one who draws the short straw. I’m not completely speechless in Norwegian I can say ‘I don’t speak Norwegian’. Unfortunately, she seems to think that if she speaks to me long enough I’ll be able to understand (a bit like how babies learn). I’m too polite to hang up, after all she is family. Oh well at least I know I’ve got about five and a half months until the next call…

6 comments:

alan said...

There will come a day when someone will invent something you can put on your phone to translate going in both directions. When they do I hope it works better than some of the IM translaters I've used in the past...

Still, at least she's trying to reach out!

Perhaps an e-mail exchange so you can each try a translator?

alan

cassie-b said...

Why would anyone want to speak for 17 minutes to someone who doesn't understand? I'd get tired of it in about 3 minutes,

Cas
I don't speak Norwegian either.

Peter (Worldman): said...

And I am sure that you are anxiously wait for the five and a half months for the call to come.

I speak Norwegian. One word: Heja

Anji said...

Alan: You mean a Babel fish!From what I've heard perhaps it's not too wise to encourage her I'm afraid.

Cas: I don't spend too much time on telephone with anyone normally (Though I was an hour talking to a new blogging friend the other day)

Peter: If I was realy good I could learn a little Norwegian in 5 months...

Dru Marland said...

I once acted as guide for a Spanish Fire Brigade team in a simulated emergency. I spoke no Spanish; they spoke no English; we were all wearing fire suits and breathing apparatus. To communicate, I had to hold the radio next to my mask and say something, over the Darth Vader oxygen mask noises, to the interpreter, who was in the command centre; she then had to relay the message, duly translated, back to the Spanish team leader standing next to me.

Lord, it was funny. Good job we didn't really catch fire...

Anji said...

Dru: I can imagine. Rob had to translate for a BBC reporter the other day. He spoke (and understood) perfect French.