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    Translation Kollaboration

    | NY, USA | Language & Words, School

    (Campus security has stopped a lost visitor, and is trying to work out where he wants to go. The visitor speaks very poor English, but the officer is trying his best.)

    Visitor: “I want go, skink labatree.”

    Security: “You wanna go where?”

    Visitor: “A skink labatree.”

    Security: “Oh, that’s, like, a little lizard. Reptile lab? Lizards? Snakes?”

    Visitor: “No, no, a skink labatree. Kell skinky.”

    Security: “Kill? Like, animal disposal?”

    Visitor: “No, no! I want call my daughter, but…”

    (The visitor holds up a cell phone.)

    Visitor: “No battery!”

    Security: “Ahh, okay. Wanna try mine?”

    (Security offers the visitor his phone.)

    Visitor: “No, no, I don’t know she kell. No battery my kell.”

    Security: “Hold up a sec.”

    (Security points to his cell phone.)

    Visitor: “Kell phone, no battery!”

    Security: “Kell laboratory?”

    Visitor: “Kell labatree!”

    Security: *scribbling on a piece of paper* “Skink?”

    Visitor: *overjoyed* “Yes! Skink labatree!”

    Security: “Okay, let’s go!”

    (On the paper: “SCIENCE.” I later learned that the visitor had taught himself English almost entirely by reading, and assumed all ‘C’s were hard ‘K’s.)