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Off topic: Beautiful story with (over) literal translation
Thread poster: Phil Hand
Phil Hand China Local time: 06:49 Chinese to English
There's a lovely story on Slate where the author uses highly literal translations of formal Korean pleasantries to create a sense of estrangement. The narrator is a Korean-American, and I think this form captures her sense of understanding-but-unfamiliarity really well.
“OK, fine,” she said. “Since you’re a special customer.”
“I won’t forget it,” my mother said.
The girl wrapped the coat in a bag. “Oh, I can’t spit on a smiling face.”
“Yes, you’ve made us smile.” My mother eased up and took the girl’s hand. “You’re so smart and fast. You’re a good girl. You don’t say too much, you don’t give too much.”
There's some descriptions of eating disorders that are a bit close to the bone, so be warned!
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