Translation Mistakes

Disclaimer: I’m paraphrasing most of the translations in the post cause it happened weeks ago and this is from memory.

Sometime since being here I have gone hiking, during my hike me and my friend Pra decided to stop and take a break on some rocks. As she is semi-fluent in Korean she would strike up conversations with people walking by or vice-versa. One older gentleman was talking to her and kept point at my legs. Now, from the way he was pointing it was more at my sink tone or what I believed. After her conversation was over and the fellow walked off and I asked her what did he say. With a somewhat sad look on her face said “I think he said you shouldn’t smoke because it’s darkening your skin.” I was a little taken a back by this. First of all I don’t smoke like what the heck!? Then she paused for a moment and said wait as if she were replaying the conversation in her head. Then said he had a dialect to him so the way he pronounced words threw her off. She then said “I think he said your skin looks dehydrated, drink water.” So the guy went from “racist” concern with my health to person concerned with my skin care? With all of my language barrier stories they are that complications due to language barrier. Situations are fuzzy and you just have to roll with the punches and realized people you are talking to may not be proficient in your language or not at all. So, when it comes to communication take a deep breath and take your time because getting upset or frustrated will get you nowhere.


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