Friday, May 28, 2010

A Failure at Translation

Julia smiled as she saw the picture of the German ambassador with his daughter. "Ist sie Ihr eigenes Kind?"

The ambassador looked highly offended. Oh, no! What did I say? Julia wailed mentally. She quickly thought through what she had said, and gasped. "Nein, nein! Das ist nicht, was ich bedeutet habe!" she tried to reassure him, but he still seemed angry. "Ich wollte sagen, 'Ist sie Ihr Einzelkind?' Das tut mir sehr, sehr Leid!"

The ambassador laughed. "Forgiven. It is a common mistake. Might I suggest brushing up on your German?"

Julia blushed. "Yeah. I'm so sorry! I wanted to impress you by speaking your language, but it didn't exactly work," she laughed apologetically.

"Enough," he replied with a smile. "Now, shall we discuss what we came here to discuss?"

"Yes, sir," she said gratefully, and tried not to think about her embarrassing mistake.
Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn--my God, do you learn--C.S. Lewis.


Reogan said...

Might I request more... substance in future stories? All your tales of late seem to exemplify a sort of mundane concisity that one would not expect in these realms of madness.

Met said...

My stories lie in these realms of madness?

I wasn't aware...

Reogan said...

Yes. Yes they do.

Qupar said...

I love the quote, though.

Anonymous said...

Ich mochte mit Ihrer Website Links tauschen

Elphaba said...

Wer sind Sie?