Eavesdropping as a professional skill
Thread poster: Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:41
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Feb 25, 2014

Hi all,

I just enjoyed a wonderful story about eavesdropping:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/confessions-of-a-lifelong-eavesdropper-for-2-25/?_php=true&_type=blogs&hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

Does anybody else eavesdrop and rationalize it as on-the-fly professional research? I sometimes even write down the things I hear when I know the terms or constructions may come in handy later.

What are some of the best pieces of language you've collected this way?


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
A recent gem Feb 25, 2014

I overheard this when I was out walking the dog at the weekend:
"Which I needed like Helen Keller needed an iPad".
I really wish I'd stopped the guy, asked him what he was referring to, and congratulated him on his facility with similes.


 

shfranke
United States
Local time: 13:41
English to Arabic
+ ...
Blog about eavesdropping Feb 26, 2014

Greetings.

With all due respect, I do not share the poster's depiction of that blog as "wonderful."

That blog -- after reading and pondering -- is more a sign of the creators' shallowness of social awareness and boorishness.

An apt adjective in the Russian is "nyekulturnii," as best I remember.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro (Los Angeles Waterfront Area), California

(Today is Tuesday, February 25, 2014.)


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:41
Chinese to English
Beautiful art metaphor Feb 26, 2014

These [overheard] conversations lent a kind of Cubist sense to my world, flattening out perspective, showing multiple angles at once.

I liked this piece very much. Especially this image, because it reminded me a bit of the way I think about translating hard phrases. Often a sentence doesn't have just one meaning, but several at once, and it's our job to see one bit of language from multiple angles simultaneously, then find another bit of a different language that can be looked at in all those same ways.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:41
Member (2008)
Italian to English
It could happen to you Feb 26, 2014

philgoddard wrote:

I overheard this when I was out walking the dog at the weekend:
"Which I needed like Helen Keller needed an iPad".
I really wish I'd stopped the guy, asked him what he was referring to, and congratulated him on his facility with similes.


I'd probably have remonstrated with him for his gross insensivity about the problems of blind people.

[Edited at 2014-02-26 07:50 GMT]


 


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