Obviously Speaks Duh-tch

, | Leuven, Belgium | Learning | June 16, 2013

(At the time of this story, translation sites like Bing and Google don’t exist yet. I work the graveyard shift as a supervisor at the public-access computer labs. One student has been working since I started my shift at midnight with several books lying on his desk while he types like there’s no tomorrow. It is now 7:00 AM when the student comes to my desk.)

Student: “Excuse me; the translator isn’t working.”

Me: “Huh?”

Student: “The translator on my computer. It doesn’t translate my text.”

(I assume that he has tried to install some third party translator which won’t work because the C drives of these PCs are write-protected.)

Me: “Can you please show me which translator you’re using?”

(I walk to his desk and see that he has a Word document of dozens of pages of Dutch text. The student selects the text, goes to the Language menu in Word and selects “English.”)

Student: “See? It stays Dutch.”

Me: “I’m sorry to say, but that’s not how the Language option in Word works. That only selects the dictionary for your spell checker.”

Student: “But I have to turn in this paper at 9:00 AM!”

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