Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lost in Translation

A great film, have you seen it?

Lost in Translation
stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson, written & directed by Sofia Coppola, a good pedigree no? It won an Oscar, a Golden Golbe and some Baftas and of course I didn't see it at the cinema, saw it on DVD though! In case you can't be bothered to click the link and find out more, I'll summarise for you;
Bob an aging movie star arrives in Tokyo to film an ad. Charlotte is the young wife of a celebrity photographer on assignment in Tokyo. She is pretty much abandoned in the hotel as her husband is out working and is unsure about her life and her husband. Bob is going through a midlife crisis, his 25year marriage is tired and lacking in romance. These two meet in the hotel bar and become friendly, having adventures in Tokyo together, experiencing the differences between Japanese and American culture, and between their own generations

Our first moment of being lost in translation dates back to before we'd actually moved to Germany. We were spending a week at Easter in southern Germany, the year before moving out here, the children knew a little but not much German.
We were sat in an ice cafe and had eaten our (very large) ice creams and wanted the bill. Not a waiter in sight so we sent the most bribable child to do our bidding (well, as the saying goes 'you don't have a dog and bark yourself') Ben emerged from the depths of the cafe looing confused...

"he says 'he come to fart'" reported Ben



The penny drops

"you mean he said 'ich komm sofort*'?"

Poor Ben, it's a tale oft told, and will surely haunt him till our (Si's and mine) dying days...

I've now had my own 'come to fart moment'...

Tuesday as Ben was heading out of the house (7:05 am, an ungodly hour of the day) the phone rang, it was Bettina, the mother of Ben's friend Timo (they walk to school together) she wanted Ben to know that Timo was sick and so not to call and to give his appologies to their teacher. I yelled out of the door (such a fishwife) to Ben that Timo was sick etc etc. Bettina went on to add that Timo 'couldn't even see out of his own eyes' - please bear in mind that;
1) this was a very early hour
2) I had only had 1 cup of caffeine
3) the conversation was in German

fortunately the whole conversation was overheard by Jasmine who had picked up the other line first (a BAD habit we're trying to break her of (before Ben breaks her arms) but one which I'm glad she still has) and she was, later in the day, able to repeat, verbatim, exactly what Bettina had said to me about Timo and which had led me to say to Ben 'Bettina says that Timo can't see'.

Now, clearly I knew she didn't mean he'd gone blind overnight, I thought she maybe meant his rotten cold had caused a load of gunk to glue his eyelids together, I don't know, like I said, it was early, too little caffeine, too much German...
The end result was that Timo's classmates all thought he'd gone blind....

You see, lost in translation!

* 'yeah, yeah sticky foreign kid, I'll be there as soon as I can'

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