Friday, 12 October 2007

Lost in Translation

My new little italian friend and I only have one language in common, and it's hebrew. It's a challenge, because we get into very deep conversations, and we have to do it in hebrew. It's more of a challenge for me though, because he has been in Israel for 3 years. Sometimes, in the middle of a lively debate, we get stuck on one particular verb, and we pause the conversation and start debating about that hebrew verb, how to say it, or use it in the future tense, etc. Then we realize that we have to get back to the main debate. It's quite funny. It's even funnier when it happens in the middle of a big argument. Because yes, we already argue quite a lot, and still, in the middle of the argument, we stop and start talking about a particular hebrew verb.

It's so challenging to argue in a new language. The words that come out of your mouth have to reflect your thoughts, and sometimes you don't have enough vocabulary to express subtleties, and also, the person who listens (or actually doesn't quite listen!!!) has to understand what you wanna say. So when you do that in a language that is a new for both parties, it seems that an argument that could only take 5 minutes actually takes hours, because of the language limitations.

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