Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lost in translation

There was an article in the news today, where this guy woke up with amnesia and could speak nothing but Swedish. Not that he was Swedish or had ever been to Sweden.

And it made me think of a blogger who has been writing, in intimate detail, about her pending divorce. Which reminded me of certain, personal, hard breaks of my own. Maybe some people see a relationship escape their grasp, day by month by year. That's never been the case with me. Instead, it's like waking up one morning and finding I only speak Swedish and he only speaks Swedish and neither of us understand Swedish at all.

31 comments:

  1. Your circumstance sounds like what I went thru (or put up with) from 2005-2009.... logical thinkers don't know when to give up w/illogical ones...

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  2. Makes me wonder if relationships (other than friendships) are a thing of the past and no longer -fit or benefit us -- in general.

    I've been lucky. But we've seen too many couples go through the break-up process.



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  3. Sadly, men wake up with a sense of life having passed with few, if any of their dreams having come to pass.

    If only they could realize that the best dreams are the ones that are right in front of us that we have foolishly taken for granted.

    Youth comes but once but love can stay if we are wise enough to hold it close. Sadly, few men are that wise.

    May your future days hold moments of peace, beauty, and hope for better times. Roland

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  4. I suppose we start speaking Swedish for very individual reasons. I suppose my reason is that I lack a sense of commitment, that extra giving step. I'm sure Becky's reason is something else, entirely. But I've known lots of people who never resort to Swedish because they find something in another that's quite lovely and worth the eternal conversation.

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  5. This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:

    "There are some days when no matter what I say it feels like I'm far away in another country and whoever is doing the translating has had far too much to drink." Brian Andreas

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  6. What is quite wonderful is when you realize that both of you are speaking something odd, even antiquated, but it's the same tongue. Sometimes we say "If anyone else heard us, they would think we are really weird!" Well, they could be right, I suppose.

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  7. It feels closer to the Swedish experience, and I'm devastated by his translations of my Swedish.

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  8. @Karin: I thought I found something in someone in 2005, I kept trying and giving 'one more chance'.. after 3 chances- they were out- just like in baseball.....I kept ignoring what others said because I didn't want to face the inevitable and finally did and that's when I felt a great weight lifted...i followed through.

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  9. I like so much the quote on Carolynn Anctil's comment!

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  10. Susan and I have been together for a very long time. We've always spoken English. However, there have been too many times when we HEAR in Swedish. It takes a while to wait to really listen and then act. Both of us have wanted out but we've stayed with it. I'm thankful we did.

    I need a new subject to draw. Ya wanna send me your photo. I can take years off if you want.

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  11. As we've never met, Pierre, how do you know I don't want to put years on? (I'll see what I can find; I love your work.)

    Sonia, I agree; great quote, Carolynn.

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  12. "I only speak Swedish and he only speaks Swedish and neither of us understand Swedish at all." A brilliant description of when the wheels fall off and nothing feels the same anymore.

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  13. I'll take that Swede (Xmas kitsch included!)

    I tend to drag out bad relationships until we're just like brother and sister. Wait. I don't like them either. ha!

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  14. Karin, one does make assumptions. The only time I ever wanted to look older than I was had to do with the beer buying age.

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  15. I only spoke Swedish to guys my own age, thus, at 18, I married someone who was 32. He'd been dating 18 year olds for years. I told him that I don't share my boyfriends, so he'd have to dump all of the other girls; we were married 6 weeks later. Happily, he tolerates my ill temper extremely well, and neither of us has ever spoken Swedish in 34 years. And I have never felt as if I were far away in another country. I am indeed fortunate.

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  16. mmmm..... think I've been speaking Danish.....maybe that's my problem!!??

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  17. Terry, if Ken won't marry me, will you? We'll have to clear this with Marion, of course.

    Ken, the ones who ended up sort of like brothers are the ones I recall most dearly.

    Pierre -- yes, yes; sent something to your blog.

    Marjie, one of the many reasons I visit your site is I don't hear any Swedish over there -- not a word.

    YAH, ja, I don't understand Danish, either ...

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  18. In my significant relationships we spoke different languages from day one, yet it took us forever to realize it.

    Becky, your blog is very compelling: good writing with a real-life drama unfolding - even unexpected visits from the other main character in the story. I hope it's healing to tell it.

    p.s. it's always the dog that kills me.

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  19. The metaphor is brilliant. I finally bought a Swedish dictionary.

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  20. Isn't that an amazing story. It's like when I'm in Argentina and I speak a strange mix of Italian, Spanish and English and everyone else speaks Spanish proper.

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  21. Holy moly!

    Guess his left hook was better then mine.

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  22. Yes, great quote, Carolynn.

    I don't know about you guys, but I got it wrong for years, and each time I got the same things wrong over and over again and never spoke up. It wasn't until I decided not only to listen to the language, but to speak it, clearly, that I changed what I was doing. So far it's working.

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  23. And Karin, this is such a smart, succinct bit of writing. In two short paragraphs, look what you've wrought.

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  24. Well, it could've been waking up to find you both spoke Norwegish.

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  25. Ha!
    Read closer. I think he lived in Sweden for many years. I'm not buyin' it!

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  26. Swedish? Gracious, I can barely speak English under the best of circumstances...

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  27. Really, Susan? You could be right, on Day 1, we're always on our best behavior.

    Sharon, you're a smart woman.

    Margaret, you speak Italian? I mean, even some, a little bit? You constantly amaze me.

    PA, at the risk of using one more question mark, left hook?

    P, I suppose it's all in what we want, what we really really want.

    CP, yes, there are worse case scenarios.

    Birdman, hands off my metaphor.

    Paula, I can't, either.

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  28. Man, that closing analogy is a beauty!

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  29. I speak English. Tom just looks at me and listens or pretends to. It works out well...so far.

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