Posts Tagged ‘language’

Lost without translation

January 6, 2008

When I read Seth Godin’s “All marketers are liars” one attribute of good storytelling is authenticity.

The stories need to be real so as to appeal to the consumers and yet am grappling with this issue myself.

Am working in a community in Pakistan where the national language is Urdu,which means in all my field visits I have an interpreter with me who is my third ear.I sort of get confused at times because I will laugh at a joke only after everyone has laughed and my colleague will then interpret it for me.She also gets caught up in it all since she took up english a few years ago;sometimes not finding the correct english words or just shrugging it off as not important for me to know.

I then think that the authenticity of the story is lost in between;the culture gets eroded and the real meaning gets distorted as I retell their story. This is maybe the reason that in as much as most of the muslims do not understand Arabic;they still pray in Arabic to maintain the original message.

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