Monday, March 18, 2013

Lost in Translation

My friend J and I met up last Friday. She and another friend K are going to run while I run to the shops. He he he. My credible excuse is that my old and trusty running shoes died on me the night of my last jog. 

We went on our separate ways in High Street and just agreed to meet for dinner after our own activities. On our way to Slice in High Street Central, retail haven Mango beckons us. Off we enter despite our grumbling bellies. 

Inside a member of J's team was there; let's call her M. So, instead of looking around she had a small chat with her. Here's an excerpt of their conversation. 

 M: Ma'am nag-dinner na ba kayo? Halika treat ko. (I'll treat you to dinner, Ma'am.)
J: 'Di pa pero huwag mo na kaming abalahin. (Never mind. Don't bother us.) 

M left a little baffled. J on one hand came to me and ask, "I told her huwag na akong abalahin. I think it didn't come across right. I wanted to tell her something else that sounds the same but what I said came out differently. 

I burst out laughing. I couldn't help it. I think what my friend wanted to say was "huwag ka nang mag-abala" (don't bother/trouble yourself).

And so she's like yeah that's what I wanted to say. We ended up laughing our heads off. And J has to send her (M) a text message to apologize and explain that she got lost in translation. 

P.S. J and I aren't native speakers of the Filipino (the national language) so you can imagine how we grapple at times with certain words and nuances of the language. In my dialect, a langgam (bird) flies but in Manila, a langgam (ant) crawls.



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