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Get Lost (In Translation)

, , , | Working | September 13, 2012

(Note: I’m white British and my friend is Filipino. While at the university library, a library assistant comes over.)

Librarian: *to us* “Hi, where are you from?”

Me: “England.”

Librarian: *laughs* “Oh, no, not you! I mean your friend.”

Me: “The Philippines.”

Librarian: “There’s a quieter room you can go in if you’d like some privacy.”

Me: “Why would we need privacy?”

Librarian: “I just thought it must be hard to translate when it’s so noisy in here.”

My Friend: “…Translate?”

Librarian: *loudly and slowly* “Yes! I. Want. To. Help! Would. You. Like. A. Quiet. Room?”

My Friend: *speechless*

Librarian: *to me* “Are you going to translate that, then?”

Me: “Okay.” *to my friend, in English* “Shall we go study somewhere else?”

My Friend: *in perfect English* “That’s okay. She’ll probably figure it out soon and leave us alone. I’ll wait.”

Me: *to the librarian* “She says we’re fine here.”

Librarian: *embarrassed* “Oh, I’ll just… get back to work.” *runs off*

This story is part of our “Where are you from?” roundup!

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