Two strangers, a man and a woman, find themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train. Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they are tired and fall asleep quickly—he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.
At 1 a.m., the man leans over and gently wakes the woman and says, “Ma’am, I’m sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I’m awfully cold.”
“I have a better idea,” the woman replies. “Just for tonight, let’s pretend we’re married.”
“Wow! That’s a fantastic idea!” he exclaims, with a huge smile on his face.
“Good,” she replies. “Now, get your own damn blanket!”
Joe, Mike, Mary, and Tom were talking about their dream jobs. “I want to be a lawyer,” Joe began, “so that I can defend my countrymen.”
“I want to be a congressman,” said Mike, “so I can draft laws to benefit my countrymen.”
“I want to be a doctor,” said Mary, “so that I can cure my countrymen.”
“How about you, Tom? What would you like to be?” asked Joe.
Tom thought a moment and replied, “I’d like to be a countryman.”
Two cops are hanging around on a corner in the former East Germany shortly after the Wall fell. Up ride two bicyclists from England, looking for directions.
"I don't speak German," one says to one of the cops, "Might you speak English?"
The cops shrug with incomprehension.
"Parlez vous francais," the biker says, non-plussed.
Same thing. The guy even tries Portuguese and Latin, no luck.
Finally the bikers ride off, frustrated.
One cop looks at the other and says, "Hey, that guy spoke 6 languages!"
The first one shrugs one last time. "Yeah well, what good did it do him?"
If the translator is a man, HE translates.
If the translator is a woman, SHE translates.
If the translator is a computer, IT translates.
If the translator is either a man or a woman, S/HE translates.
Whether the translator is a man, a woman or a computer, S/H/IT translates.
10. Anybody with two years of high school language (or a foreign-tongued grandmother) can translate.
9. A good translator doesn't need a dictionary.
8. There's no difference between translation and interpretation.
7. Translators don't mind working nights and weekends at no extra charge.
6. Translators don't need to understand what they're translating.
5. A good translator doesn't need proofing or editing.
4. Becoming a translator is an easy way to get rich quick.
3. Translation is just typing in a foreign language.
2. A translator costs $49.95 at Radio Shack and runs on two 'C' batteries.
And the #1 misconception about translation and translators:
1. That marketing copy that took a team of 20 people two months to put together can be translated overnight by one person and still retain the same impact as the original