Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lost in Translation

The ironic thing about my self-professed "kantang" husband is that he has 2 aunts on his father's side who are Chinese teachers. And as luck would have it, these two aunts married Chinese teachers too. So, all in all, there are 4 relatives of Packrat's that speak flawless Chinese. And the combined efforts of the four of them could not make Packrat more bilingual than he is now.

We met 3 of them today and had the privillege of sending one of them home. All the way home, I felt it necessary to make conversation with her. Even if it was in my extremely halting Chinese. What we chatted about amounted to what would be small talk. Except, for me, it really wasn't small talk. It was my more earnest and sincere effort at trying to make conversation.

I came to realise 2 things.

1. I am not funny when I speak Chinese. Well, not intentionally anyway. I lose my ability to be caustic, snarky, ditzy, witty. I just don't have the ability to make fun of "porta-potties" in Chinese. I don't even know where to begin.

2. If a cruel joke was to be played on me and I was made to find a husband only by speaking Chinese, I would end up a spinster for life! It would be even harder than Ariel trying to make the Prince fall in love with her without her voice. I would be so boring that I wouldn't want to date myself, let alone, spend the rest of my life with someone who's linguistic ability was just about sufficient to order fish ball noodles dry and with chilli but without oil and perhaps, on a good day, talk about the weather.

Although I do have a sneaking suspicion that there are couples out there who have that little in common that all they do talk about is the weather and what food to order. But that's a different post, for a different time.

For now, I'm going to rest my tongue (now, no funny ideas here!) . It's been all twisted from trying my darndest to wrap itself round words that I haven't used for the past 10 years. And so much, in the last 10 years, has been lost in translation.

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:27

0 thoughts...

0 thoughts...

Post a Comment

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"