Lost in Translation

I was out walking the other day when a woman stopped me in the parking lot of a Presbyterian church just up the road. She spoke no English and I couldn’t understand her language at all when she tried to communicate. She wasn’t one to give up easily, however. She kept talking and pointed to her phone. It took me a while but I finally caught on. The translation app took her language — which, as it turned out was Arabic — and did what seemed like a fairly decent job of turning it into English. When she held her phone’s microphone toward me, the app took my words and turned them into a beautiful written language on her screen, which she was able to read. The Arabic characters were as beautiful as cake decorations. When I told her that, she laughed but it’s true. It turns out she was looking for a house in this area for her family to rent and she wanted to know if I knew anything available. The people in a house on the street behind me are Arabic as well, but I have only communicated briefly with the grandmother through a teenage grandson, who can translate. We didn’t get much further than finding out her name is Noor and mine would be Miriam in Arabic. So I was of minimal help to the woman in the parking lot, but we exchanged phone numbers and she texted me several times to see if I had any updates. I eventually suggested she stop in the office of the church near where we had been standing. I’m not a member but I’ve had parking lot conversations with the social director there, who has a tiny rescue dog named Wanda. After our initial meeting when Wanda tried to take my arm off as I reached down to pet her, the social director and I have had very nice visits. I was hoping someone working there might be helpful to this Middle Eastern woman. The woman told me she wanted a house in this neighborhood because of the church. “I want my children to live close to God,” she told me. She was very serious. I didn’t know how to tell her she could find God all over the place and God isn’t necessarily partial to Presbyterians.


Clker-Free-Vector-Imag on Pixabay Photo


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1 Response

  1. Elena says:

    Hola mary, escribiste todas de las articulas para este blog. Es tu blog.
    I’m impressed. I like the line, good partial to presbyterians.

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