Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lost in Translation

The spring camp where I’m spending the week working has a small library of French and English books.  One of the campers, Khawla, was reading an English biography about Mary McLeod Bethune in English, and she asked me to define slave.

“It’s a person who was taken from Africa to work in America,” I told her.

“I don’t understand,” she told me.

“Umm, it’s a person who has to work, but isn’t paid any money,” I tried.

“Oh,” she said, comprehension dawning.  “Like you!  Mutatwi3in (volunteers).”


Luckily, another PCV knew the French for slave, which cleared things up.

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