Lost in the Translation: My new essay in World Hum

This week, a new travel essay of mine went online at World Hum. It’s entitled Lost in the Translation — and it humorously describes how the U.S. Army’s new electronic translation device will result in all kinds of confusion once it lands in the hands of independent travelers. “If there’s a bright side to the language gap,” I observe at one point in the essay, “it’s that we as travelers have never really needed technology to help us communicate. Indeed, language is rarely precise — even when shared between lovers or siblings — and sometimes the very charm of communication comes from its hopeful uncertainty. Just as a conversation with a stranger at a nightclub carries a host of interpretations in your own hometown, a phrasebook-aided (or pantomime-aided) cross-cultural conversation can be filled with untold possibilities that arise only when you’re unable to say exactly what’s on your mind.”

Full essay online here.

Posted by | Comments Off on Lost in the Translation: My new essay in World Hum  | January 31, 2004
Category: Rolf's News and Updates

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