Adventures in Translation

Yesterday, Husband and I sat rather apprehensively in the kitchen, awaiting the arrival of our second (or technically third?) house guest from Ukraine. I realise now that it’s been a year since our first foray into this world, and I still haven’t written a jot about the many, many reflections this bizarre experience offered. (There are some stories well worth telling and I’m sure I’ll get round to doing them justice eventually!) However, as Husband and I sat praying in our unusually quiet kitchen yesterday, I was reminded of one particularly lighthearted lesson from the last year: that although there is nothing- absolutely NOTHING- funny about this war and the horrendous displacement of innocent people … humans are so admirably resilient when it comes to finding light in dark places. And, you know, our language is always game for a laugh!

Notes recorded last summer

Me: So… What did you do with your free hour while D was at preschool?

V: Oh I managed to go to hell where I saw McDonald’s and bought an ice cream.

Me: Ha! I got the part about McDonald’s and ice cream, but the translator said you went to hell?!

V: Well, to be fair… I imagine if there is a hell, they probably built a McDonald’s already.


* * * *

V: What should I buy for the barbecue?

Me: Just any special meat you want to put on it. We have chicken, beef burgers and sausages…

V: I caught a fresh fox. Will that do?

Me: Erm…

V: (Takes chicken from the fridge).

Me: Phew! Yes, that will do!

* * * *

Me: We are cooking pie for tea. Would you like some?

V: Thank you, but I think maybe not. The pie looks a bit too much like pie.

Me: Deep…

* * * *

V: I cannot understand how in this century it can still be decided to resolve conflict with war.

Me: I know. Putin is hilarious.

Me: DELETE! DELETE! I meant ridiculous – RIDICULOUS! No?

V: I don’t understand.

Me: Probably just as well.

* * * *

Me: I need to stop eating all of this delicious food and get some exercise!

V: It’s ok, your wallpaper is fantastic.

Me: Well, thank you. That’s something.

* * * *

And yesterday, while praying. .. Husband is a Southerner and that is often a completely different language too...

Me: Lord, we pray for this hosting relationship. If we are the right family for O, if she can be happy and safe here and our family can cope… please let it be so. If not, if this is a bad idea, please let both of us know. Amen.

Hub: And Lord we continue to pray for peace in Ukraine. Especially as they try a Rasputin this week.

Me: (opens one eye) I’m sorry… a what?

Hub: A Rasputin.

Me: A… Rasputin?

Hub: Yes. So Lord, as they try a Rasputin this week-

Me: No, sorry, hang on. (Opens both eyes). They’re doing WHAT now?!

Hub: A Rasputin!

(He looks at me now, brows furrowed, eyes incredulous, like he can’t believe I’m interrupting his prayer and questioning this very serious message. There’s not an inch of humour on his face, but I simply cannot comprehend…)

Me: (How to word this?) You’re telling me… that the latest development in the invasion of Ukraine… is Russia’s greatest love machine...?!

Hub: A… what?

Me: What?

Hub: What?

(A little confused mutual staring).

Hub: They’re… they’re. Going. To. Try. To. ARREST. PUTIN!

Me: Oooooooooh!

Hub: For war crimes?!

Me: I know but I honestly thought you were saying ‘Rasputin’!

Hub: You’re an idiot.

Me: Thanks.

(Continues to meet O to the internal tune of Boney M).

This is going to go well.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Esther Gregory-Witham says:

    Hahahaha! Brilliant!
    We have many North/South mis-translations in our house too!

    Looking forward to further reflections on being hosts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you! I mean, living in the North, he just needs to confirm 🤣 Hope you’re both well, thanks for letting me know you’re still reading! X


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