Thursday, 13 October 2011

english, chinese, translation

hi! again!!

today, while working, there was a customer from China. he seems to be here on a business tripand only know little english. so since most of my colleagues are filiphinos, they obviously dont know how to speak and understand chinese! thus THE SINGAPOREAN IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY!!

because being a singaporean, we are exposed to both our mother tongue and english! for me its chinese.
and as ive said, i wenty to save the day and be a translator for 20 minutes. only then i realised:

i can speak, write, understand both the english language and the chinese language but i cant TRANSLATE!! well, i cang translate word for word and i cant seem to translate certain chinese words to english and vice versa even though i totally understand the meaning! i found myself saying a grandmother story while i try to translate.

*do you understand what i mean??*

for example, one of my conversations with one of my colleague from china.

there was a new full time staff who just started work and i asked my "china colleague" if she is a permanent staff or just temporary? and the "china colleague" dont know the meaning of 'permament' as my colleague didnt learn a lot of english before she came to singapore to work. she knows and understands basic english but some terms and words she dont know.
and so at that point i was petrified. i didnt know the WORD/ the phase in chinese for permanent! so i went saying a grandmother story that if she is going to stay here for 2 years or for long.

* now do you understand???*

i am very glad that i know two languages.and i am forced to know it due to the country i am in. but i am very disappointed that not everybody in this country can be a translator! its just weird!! you understand two languages but you cant translate them!!!! its like you can sing a lot of songs and you sang them beautifully but you dont understand the meaning of the songs you singing. it isnt right.

i dont know what the education system here is singapore should change or do about the inability to translate despite knowing two languages. but i think its a issue to be brought up or to think about.

just think. no harm thinking!

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