Thursday, October 29, 2009


Much is made when you're applying to graduate school about what languages you can speak and/or read. Presumably because there are important sources that you would not be able to decipher if you can only speak one language like a plebeian.

(This is why I'm doing British history. They conquered everyone. And made them speak English.)

Now. I am pretty much monolingual. I speak English quite well. I can read a lot of Latin. I can read some French, with a lot of time to translate, but please do not ask me to tell you how to say, 'The restaurant is to your right," because I can't. Other than that...not so much.

I never really thought it would be a problem, either, because I'm sorry, but almost everything has been translated into English.

Except for John Paul II's speech at his first visit to the Great Synagogue in Rome. That is still only available on the internet as Italian or German. Except for "buon giorno principessa!" that I picked up from Life is Beautiful, I know precisely no Italian. And even less German, despite the week-long attempt when I was twelve to get in touch with that part of my heritage.

Anyway. I needed that speech for my thesis. And I couldn't have it. And that made me mad and also question my own personal constructs because MAYBE THE CRAZY GRADUATE SCHOOL PEOPLE ARE RIGHT AND I WILL DIE ALONE WITHOUT A PH.D.

Then I realized...wait. Google Translator.

So now I have the text of the speech. And I didn't even have to learn a modern European language. And I can't see why anyone would waste time doing anything other than that.


mickey said...

how did we live without google??????????????? Love the blog btw :)

rockford said...

Your thesis will be based on "Google Translator"???? Seriously???? You trust them???? It certainly is a Brave New World....