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It Is Indeed A Skill

I came across All1Rog's post on *I write shorthand* and I became interested in knowing about anyone who is able to acquire such a skill. Then I realise that I am also interested in knowing how many of us are actually bilingual.

I attended a wine symposium in Italy recently. The lectures and debate were in French mostly. Most of the members/delegates who attended are from the EU and a handful from the USA, UK and Asia Pacific Zone.

I was so impressed to watch my friends switching from one language to another.when we dined together.  From French to Italian or German and even in English language.

The most outstanding moment then was at the lecturehall to see a few of the delegates seated next to me writing shorthand, just like me taking notes.  Theirs were neatly written in their notebooks whereas mine was haphazardly done.

I gasped in awe.

Suddenly I realised that the whole lecture was in French. I was writing it in French too but I saw the ones seated further to my right writing it in English as I glanced at their notes.

I realised they were wearing hearing device.

The WHOLE lecture was translated simultaneously from French to English and Italian by these two ladies!

They were seated at the back on a floor above us overlooking the forum. I gasped again.

I quickly ran outside to pick up the device as I was curious to find out if the translation was any good LOL.  *Such a condescending remark*..But hey I was curious.

I listened to the translation and all I can say is this *WOW*.  The translation was AWESOME.  I do not think they had notes to guide them because the questions and answers were not rigged.

The jokes were even translated and so were the snide remarks and sarcasms.


I commend these two ladies for a job well done! I have told them I will write a story on them on EP.  Hopefully they will come in to take a look at it and the comments

We forget the people behind the stage/scene sometimes.

They make the world seem smaller--language is no longer a barrier to comprehending and reuniting friends and acquaintances.


deleted deleted 26-30 8 Responses Nov 12, 2009

Your Response


Just curious, and of course you don't have to say what they are, but how many languages do you speak, read and write?<br />
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So far I know you are well equipped with french and english.

Dear Duchess, As far as I know, you are the only person on this site who can read shorthand and I am very impressed that you could read my example!<br />
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Like you, I am impressed by the ability of some people to speak several languages. I once knew someone, based in Geneva, who spoke fluent English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. I once had the humbling experience of sitting next to him at a meal where there were representatives of each language, round the table. He switched effortlessly from one language to another without ever giving the appearance that he was showing off.<br />
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I have been to meetings with foreign nationals who have conducted the entire proceedings in English, solely for my benefit: again, rather humbling!

I meant your claim of having not part in causing the war. After all Helen caused the whole Troy thing. LOL.<br />
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Ahhhh.. I see. So they finally fix it - all this time whenever I tried taking a look, I was told those T shirts were not in stock.<br />
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Titi DJ, milady - Hati-hati di jalan!

LOL. I gotta take that into consideration. I still need to investigate further, hahahahahaha..<br />
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I thought you were not going to be online, you know due to your trip - that's why I took a mini EP vacation too, ha.<br />
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What's this Bluey (Jazzy...?) I've been hearing about?? Your laptop, I take it, milady?

You're right, Duchess - it's an accomplishment to translate jokes and sarcasm, live. Wow. I'm in awe - thanks for posting their pictures too :)


P/s: Alamak, sorry for the hijack again. Sorry. I've been EP-deprived in recent days. Love, AP

What a wonderful story, Your Grace! When I was a conference organizer, there were some events where I hired a professional simultaneous translator, and -- yes -- it was a wonder to watch those people work. I sat beside one of them once, and was fascinated by their special symbols. Like those secret symbols which the dabbawallahs of Bombay chalk onto tiffin carriers!<br />
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I don't know shorthand but I did learn Teeline, the simpler system used by news reporters. Not telling why I had to learn it!<br />
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Your Grace, your life is so incredibly cosmopolitan. You are incredible. During the year I studied law in Brussels, the lecture notes for the first 3 - 4 lectures were all the same: Maybe 2 lines of "good" notes", followed by maybe 8 lines of increasingly nonsensical "notes" as I began falling behind, and after the middle of the page -- *BLANK SPACE*<br />
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Ha hah. Fortunately, the language of law is mainly technical, so after a while I got used to the style and vocabulary for each course I took, and it got better.<br />
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*hugs*<br />
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