Think back about …

Lost in Translation

Words often fail to have the same meaning when translated into another language. Sometimes the result is frustrating, as in trying to assemble something made in China with directions that have been translated into fractured English. Often, the result is funny, as the translation changes the intended meaning of a phrase. Think back … what experiences have you had with something that was lost in translation? Have you or someone you know struggled to communicate in a foreign country? Do you know foreign-born people whose words were misunderstood, mistranslated, or not translatable? Share your Lost in Translation stories forward.

Stories on This Week's Writing Prompt

Lost in Translation
Please note that the word "justice" never appears in this broadside.
Europe on 5 Memories a Day
But here we were, far from  home, fresh, excited and full of expectations.  Even the toilet paper was an adventure as we [...]
How I Learned To Stop Being A Litterbug
I had the good fortune (Koun) to travel to Japan on business. I was familiar with Lederer/ Burdick’s The Ugly American [...]
Tradition
As a child I heard Yiddish spoken by my European-born grandparents and my first-generation American parents,  yet I never had [...]
Found in Conversation
by
I was incredibly nervous, never having taught anything, let alone ESL, before.
Lost in Translucence (a Patois)
...as the ring transitioned from the world of the real and visible to the underwater world of Neptune and Ariel and Moby Dick...
Fromlostiano
by
No, fromlostiano is not the name of a song, as far as I know. It is a Spanish word for comical Spanish-to-English translations.
The Localizer
by
The copy kept referencing a "head shop." Of course, they didn't know what that meant in the 1960s in the US.
We’re Doing the Best That We Can
On my first day, it was show time. I nervously knocked on the door and entered to find a pleasant young man who listened [...]
Âllo Oui
We knew from past experience that we would struggle in Paris unless our kids helped, which they refused to do.
Prague, 2003
My second advantage , I am certain, was that they had concluded I had gone completely crazy ...
Sissi’s 60th
My devotion to my cousin Alan Jackson, and great sorrow when he died young, in 1981 was documented in Action Jackson. I was [...]
Alas and Alain
When I was in high school, we housed for several weeks one summer a French student about my age named Alain.  This was not [...]
44 Curzon Street
I originally published this story for the FAMILY TRIPS prompt,  but if you haven’t read it or don’t remember it,  I hope [...]
Parlez-vous Francais?
I originally published this story for the RETIREMENT prompt,,  but if you haven’t read it or don’t remember it,  I hope [...]
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New Stories on Old Prompts

What My Father Wrote for Me
How and why my [grand]mother was cooking on a ranch in Montana in the summer of 1918 is one of the stories I shall never know...
June 25, 2022

Past Stories You May Have Missed

No Way Out
by
Our crowning…glory? What teen/young adult/ more mature adult/even more mature adult hasn’t graded a day by [...]
Prompted By Hair
February 1, 2016
The Chuck Wagon
by
"What outfit do you cook for?"
Prompted By Vacations
March 10, 2016

Think back about …

Lost in Translation

Words often fail to have the same meaning when translated into another language. Sometimes the result is frustrating, as in trying to assemble something made in China with directions that have been translated into fractured English. Often, the result is funny, as the translation changes the intended meaning of a phrase. Think back … what experiences have you had with something that was lost in translation? Have you or someone you know struggled to communicate in a foreign country? Do you know foreign-born people whose words were misunderstood, mistranslated, or not translatable? Share your Lost in Translation stories forward.

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