Good Samaritan(s)


Around two weeks ago, my supervisor sent a cc-email. It was for a postgrad journalism student, looking for someone to translate some interviews she did in Indonesia. My supervisor adviced her to see me in order to help her with the translation.

So, we met a week ago in coffee shop. She started our meeting with a story of not being supported by any funding organization. So, guys – you know what does it mean hehe. But that’s ok, since I am ready to be a very good Samaritan. She told me also about support she had during her stay in Indonesia from a local guy. This guy helped her – as her translator – during her interviews with poor peoples.

Anyway, today I worked her film. I played her movie in my office, trying to catch the interviews. Then, I reckoned this guy didn’t understand what she asked. So what happened is the research subject didn’t answer what was being asked by this postgrad student. The other way around, when the research subject answered, this guy mistranslated the answer to this postgrad student.

Postgrad student (to the scavenger): Is there any times when they can’t work? Like when their sick or when it rains?
The translator guy: Bapak masih punya waktu untuk istirahat nggak?

This interview cracked me up! I can tell this guy can’t cut the mustard. Should I change the transcription? I don’t think so. Is the movie – as her final report reliable? Hhhmmmm I don’t know. But that translator guy and me, we have something in common *wink*: we have broken english and we are good Samaritans.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

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