Off topic: The Little Translator turns Little Detective (I½)
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson
The Little Translator claws his way back: http://www.proz.com/topic/85405
The Little Translator goes for the Big Lie: http://www.proz.com/topic/86945
The Little Translator meets the Mob: http://www.proz.com/topic/88711
The Little Translator runs into Brookesduddy: http://www.proz.com/topic/90107
The Little Translator runs into Brookesduddy (II): http://www.proz.com/topic/91508
The Little Translator turns Little Detective: http://www.proz.com/topic/91763
The Little Translator in the dying hours of 2007: http://www.proz.com/topic/92996
The Little Translator and the Basque sex kittens: http://www.proz.com/topic/93904
I bet I know what was going through your mind as you clicked into this new episode. “Huh, Little Translator again”, you snorted, “He’s so predictable. I even know how the first paragraph’s going to start. He’ll tell us: “One of my customers rang the other day …”, and then launch into some inane dialogue, which may ring a few bells with me and may not, and then he’ll move on to something which is nothing to do with translation. You mark my words.”
Actually, this time I won’t be talking much about translation at all. My mind has been elsewhere. You know where, don’t you? In fact on Friday I found I just couldn’t concentrate on a job I’d been given. With paragraph-size sentences. I stopped at one point and read back what I had just written:
“ … in due consideration of the consternation, preoccupation and frustration of the organisation in relation to its observation of consolidation of the proliferation of procrastination in the administration of the situation at this location, however, notwithstanding, nevertheless, and furthermore, …”
I eyed the rest of the sentence, which stretched out for another ten lines or so of the same, finishing off with the well-worn criterion of never using one adjective or adverb where eighteen or more will do. It was no use. I couldn’t go on. I had to talk to Sergeant Garmendia.
I realised I had to be prepared for him not to be impressed with my tale of Macbeth Syndrome. “Got to think ahead, LT”, I murmured to myself, “plan a strategy to persuade him.” “Señor Traductorcito”, I could hear him protest, for instance, “That was written by Shakespeare centuries ago. It’s got nothing to do with the 21st century.”
“Exactly”, I would counter. “That’s just the point, Garmendia. Centuries ago. When. unlike today, they had no fingerprinting, no Low Copy DNA. Nobody from CSI Inverness to crouch down over the stiff and say “Hamish, take a wee sample o’ yon congealed blood from aroond his gills, an’ wheak it doon at the dubble tae Mackenzie at the lab.” And no sweating it out in a cold interview room with a table, a chair, and a one-way mirror, waiting for the Special Branch coppers sent up to the Highlands from The Smoke, either.”
No, there’d be none of that, would there? …
… “So, about this sword of yours, Mr. Macbeth. It’s not registered at the police station, is it? Used it or brandished it at all lately, have we, sir? What’s that, Mr. Macbeth? Oh I SEE, only for squirrels around the castle. Did you hear that, Sergeant? Squirrels, he says. Come off it, Mr. Macbeth. You can do better than that, sir, surely. Look at the bloody thing, man – it must weigh at least twenty pounds. Squirrels? Squirrels scurry up and down trees looking for nuts to scoff, Mr. Macbeth. Squirrels dart comically about everywhere. The jolly little rascals like nothing better than to scamper gaily to and fro all the live long day, sir. What kind of squirrel would you do in with a sword like that, Mr. Macbeth? A squirrel with a broken ankle edging through the undergrowth on crutches? A grandad squirrel with a flat cap, asthma and chronic arthritis? Eh? A squirrel caught napping on the bog with his bloody pants down around those little furry legs, Mr. Macbeth?”
“Know what’ll happen when our Forensics confirm microscopic traces of King Duncan’s blood all over that sword, Mr. Macbeth? Do you? Eh? Eh? Given the circumstances, we might even have you for lese-majesty, too. That’s high treason to you and me, that is. And you know what that means, doncha? Means you got yourself a date with Old Sparky, Mr. Macbeth. It’s only a matter of time before we find Banquo in some ditch out there, too. We got our boys in blue right now scouring the woods over a ten-league radius, we have. Straight up. Going through it all with a fine toothcomb, they are. They don’t miss nothing, you know, our lads. What’s that you say, sir? Your alibi? Oh PLEASE. So you’ve got an alibi for that one, Mr. Macbeth. You was tucked up all cosy in bed with Her Indoors, wasn’t you, but what you don’t know is that Murderers One, Two and Three are already singing like canaries in another little room we’ve got right next door here, even as we speak, oh yes. Besides, Mr. Macbeth, by the looks of things your old lady’s testimony will be about as much use to you as a priest’s bollocks. Bonkers, the medics reckon. Lost her marbles. Rabbiting on to herself all day long, she is, rubbing at her hands, screaming “Out, damn spot!” Who’s gonna accept testimony from a raving lunatic, eh? They’ll laugh her out of court. Know what I see when I look at you, Mr. Macbeth? A dead man walking, that’s what. A dead man walking.”
“But, before they top you, Mr. Macbeth, you’ll have to do some time first. Oh yes. Ever heard of Barlinnie, have you? No? Well, it’s a little hotel run by the state. Down Glasgow way. A bit crowded, mind. Lots of big bad boys cooped up in there, son. Dangerous nutcases, some of ‘em, I’d say. Bad news, they are, Mr. Macbeth. Big ugly animals. Nervous primates, like. Smack in their veins, tattoos in their teeth, muscles in their hair, and evil in their hearts. I wouldn’t like to be in your shoes when the Daddy claps his eyes on a good-looking bloke like yourself to play doctors and nurses with in the dark after lights-out. And in Barlinnie, Mr. Macbeth, you won’t have no big sword like this to play the hard man with neither, will you sir?”.
I wiped some froth from my mouth. I was pretty sure Garmendia would be convinced, so I put on my coat and headed off for the police station.
| || || |
| | patyjs
Local time: 09:29
Spanish to English
| Oh more, MORE!!! || Jan 20, 2008 |
This is the best one yet, Mervyn. I'm crying. I love it to bits.
Will is probably spinning in his grave!
Maybe LT should give up the day job altogether and devote himself to rewriting Shakespeare.
| sheer genius || Jan 20, 2008 |
The whole thing is a hoot, but that description of Lady MacBeth rabbiting on is absolutely priceless!
"Besides, Mr. Macbeth, by the looks of things your old lady’s testimony will be about as much use to you as a priest’s bollocks. Bonkers, the medics reckon. Lost her marbles. Rabbiting on to herself all day long, she is, rubbing at her hands, screaming “Out, damn spot!” Who’s gonna accept testimony from a raving lunatic, eh? They’ll laugh her out of court. Know what I see when I look at you, Mr. Macbeth? A dead man walking, that’s what. A dead man walking.”
| | Melzie
Local time: 16:29
French to English
| I can't not... || Jan 21, 2008 |
just read any more without saying thank you. I'm scared that if you don't get encouragement you might stop. DOOOOOOOOOON'T PLEEEEAAAASE.......
| | Yoanna
Local time: 08:29
English to Polish
| he says, squirrels || Jan 21, 2008 |
I'd rather hunt squirrels than chop my way through those long sentences... I recognize them from my nightmares.
Yay for wandering minds!
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The Little Translator turns Little Detective (I½)
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