Translation explained to an 8-year-old child

By Gabriela Garcia Calderon Orbe
In Freelancing
Sep 25th, 2017

Article by Gabriela Garcia Calderon

Any given weekday on a school holiday week, my 8-year old niece stays over to sleep. Those nights when she sleeps at home are the most cherished for me. We hang on all over the afternoon eating popcorn and watching movies, we later move to real food and end up the day watching more movies, although without popcorn. Well, not quite.

The next day, I get up early and after getting ready for the day and having breakfast, I start working on my computer. I try to work silently, the girl is sleeping a room away and I don’t want to disturb her sleeping. It’s a shame to wake up children early while they are enjoying days off from school.

A little before 9:30 am she gets up. I ask her to wash her teeth, have breakfast, and get dressed. We will go out for a walk and some shopping as soon as she is ready. She is old enough to manage all that by herself.

Once she is ready, I’m only a paragraph away of ending the translation of a not that long text:

– How more long is this going to take you? –she asked me, impatiently.

– Just a little while. This is the only paragraph left, and then I have to read it all over again to correct any mistakes.

– Oh, no, this will take for ages –she grumbled.


I promise it won’t be like that and I ask her some silence to go as fast as I can. She stands right behind my back staring the computer screen over my shoulder. She starts asking what this word means and what these other two mean. I answer all her questions, while trying to concentrate again in what I was doing. But it’s impossible, her curiosity is so big.

So I show her the previous paragraphs and explain the sense of the whole text. It’s about freedom of expression advocacy. She asks me about that and I explain it with simple words. She says she understands and, as getting back to reality, starts to press me again to end up everything and just go out.

I take some more minutes for a final check while she puts a jacket on. I deliver the file and get ready to enjoy a walk with this lovely lively curious girl.

After a while she says: “now I know what your work is about and I really like it”. And a wonderful chat started.

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About "" Has 5 Posts

Gabriela Garcia Calderon. I'm a lawyer, translator, proud lefty, short-sighted born in Peru and based in Lima. I live two blocks away from the Pacific Ocean. I am able to read from right to left, as a mirror. I love Limean winter, yes, the winter. I like reading, watching good movies, writing on my blog "Seis de enero" (January 6th) and sharing an ice cream all around the year.

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