Friday, May 28, 2004

Lost In Translation

That's what I have been more than once this week. Many words simply don't translate well from Russian to English and vice versa, and sometimes as Jeff, Tom and I talk about topics both religious and secular (sometimes with Masha translating, sometimes with Tom doing quite well in English on his own), I am clueless. When I think I understand something, I will repeat a phrase or concept as translated into English just to make sure, and then I hear that I really didn't have it quite right after all.

My attempts at speaking Russian can be even more baffling for those on the other end of the conversation. Yesterday, for instance, I simply made up a word (you understand, right Kimberly?). I was sure I had heard someone use the word "meshtoika" to say whatever it was we were talking about at that point in the conversation, but when I said "meshtoika," every Russian and the one American in the room just stared at me. It was clear that I was speaking neither English nor Russian.

That's OK, though. Now I have invented a Russian word that I can choose to define as I please at any given moment. Don't be surprised if you hear me saying "meshtoika" all the time when I come home. Only I will really know what I mean, and that's the best part.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Kimberly:

See Danny, you didn't believe me when I told you how wonderful it was to add to our langage!

6:50 PM  

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