Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Lost in Translation

I've been trying to figure out these past 2+ weeks what shape Monteskewed will take for both me and reader-participants.  Maybe part of the journey is translating/relating the life-changing experience I find living abroad to be.

One of the ironies | pleasant surprises | emerging daily routines, since we've been here is our nightly facebook blasts....catching up with California as our day in Paris ends and life is picking up on the far West Coast.  It's been fun to see how many folks are following us, eager to see how life unfolds and emerges between the dust bunnies of the manse, the travails with paper-work and French beauracracy, the cultural adaptation of our kids to life here and the cheese! (can't forget that).  One of the interesting things is to see how the internet/facebook and social networking technology empowers us to be in contact with so many that are both so far and so near to us.  Calls from California pick up from where we left off online, today we had a visit from a Poissy friend which picked up from the point of departure of Kristy's facebook post last night.

Google and Facebook also offer interesting translation quandries, as different folks, speaking different languages work towards communicating towards - if not with - each other.  This leads to "global understanding" and more often some laughs.  Here's a funny experience from my wife's facbook page today regarding a conversation detailing the emerging details of our youngest daughter's school enrollment here:

Kristy Parsons-Mcclain

Kristy Parsons-Mcclain nervous about the first day of school tomorrow.

11 hours ago ·  · 
Schrumpf Caroline
Schrumpf Caroline
finalement élodie va à quelle école ? courage ! ce qui est super chouette c'est que tu peux aller prendre le gouter dans le parc le soir après l'école ou pique niquer à midi ! tu n'avais pas ça à oakland... j'espère que votre installation est en bonne voie. ils ont refait les peintures ? et le jardin ? bises
10 hours ago
Kristy Parsons-Mcclain
Kristy Parsons-Mcclain
Le maire va trouver une place pour Elodie à l'école de l'Abbaye, mais il faudra attendre la semaine prochaine. On a fait peut-etre la moitié des peintures et pas encore le jardin. Il y a tjs beaucoup à faire. L'installation est long, quand-même.
9 hours ago
Karl Shadley
Karl Shadley
OK Kristy. This is what Google translate does with your post..
"The mayor will find a place to Elodie at school of the Abbey, but not until next week. It was perhaps half the paintings and yet the garden. There tjs much to do. The facility is long, anyway."
5 hours ago
Kristy Parsons-Mcclain
Kristy Parsons-Mcclain
This is what I said: "The mayor will find a place for Elodie at the Abbey school, but until next week. They did maybe half of the painting and not the garden yet. There is still a lot to do. Moving in takes a long time, after all. " Google, I give you 75%, room for improvement.
2 hours ago

Maybe facebook translation merely lifts up the fact that we don't always understand each other, even when we speak the same language.  A wise, and crusty, old friend used to always tell me, "communication is God's greatest miracle."  I think she may have been onto something, even if not a lot of people listened to her.


Gene said...

Was in the Dimond district today (La Farine, Peet's, Farmer Joe's) and thought of you and your family on the ride home because of some interesting architecture.

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed this blog. A lot of it was about our beloved Oakland though. I liked the fact you moved to France and moved to a new blog. And the new blog is fascinating. I've never lived in another country and I love the insider's point of view. I love all the pictures and the descriptions of the school. I like your description of your feelings and what's going on with the kids. These are things I never would have known or thought about. They are the intricate fabric of life being woven each day with each experience. I don't know what you will do with this old blog. Perhaps use it when you come back?

Monte said...

thanks driver. i'm still going to blog on this - and hopefully in the future in oakland too :) just not sure how yet...wanting to be authentic to me and my context and still part of the larger e-conversation in oaktown too.