Monday, May 14, 2012

Lost in Translation

A long time friend was promoted about 6 months ago to Director of the Agriculture Reseach Centre at Askania Nova, in the heart of the Ukrainian Steppes.  Askania Nova is also home to a large nature reserve with many thousands of animals and birds.  It is managed by the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences so is under our friend's jurisdiction, I believe.

Przewalski's Horses at the Askania Nova Nature Reserve
Tanya and I promised to go down to see him this spring and so we leave on Wednesday morning and will drive down.  Our excuse is a one-day seminar on dairy and beef production which will be held there on 17th, sponsored by another friend's genetics company.  So I have a short presentation to give at that and Yuri asked if I would give a presentation the next morning to his research staff, too.

Tanya offered to translate for me, which thrilled me no end.  English to Russian won't be too bad for her as she has heard much of this before in both languages at other presentations I have made and is familiar with most of the concepts.  Yesterday she was going through my PPT slides and making sure they were translated and that she understood them.  She fixed several areas that had needed work and got me to explain a great many things in detail to her so she understood.

I am not always patient in explaining concepts to someone whom I think should understand them and was a bit short on a couple of occasions.  At supper I apologized and thanked her for not killing me.  She said "The evening is not over yet".


  1. "The evening is not over yet". What do you think got lost in the translation of that? Oh, wait; she said it in English. Hmmmm.

  2. Considering that you've had the advantage of watching beef production advance over the last 50 years I'd say it's a safe bet to hide the frying pans.

  3. Beautiful horses.

    Tanya's response could not be any more perfect.

    1. We are back at it this morning and I am much more patient. It could be my life is lost in translation, RB.
      Demeur, I did and the axe, too.
      CD, That breed of horse is very rare, found wild in Mongolia I believe. Tanya is deadly on retort in English; I'd be terrified to face her in Russian. The deadly put-down is a tradition in our family (usually with me as straight man). My kids just love Tanya as she fits in so well keeping me in line.