The author of the following article is Caterina Berger. She works as a freelancer for the translation agency Linguation in the field of content creation and online marketing. She majored in Japanese Studies and is working towards a doctorate in General Linguistics. Her favourite area is sociolinguistics and intercultural communication. We are pleased to have her as a guest author.
Admittedly, my title is not exactly original, but there are good reasons for that. In fact it is hard to describe life as a translator more accurately. Between clients who question every syllable of their ten-year-old internship testimony and those who would like to have their 500-page dissertation translated into Chinese by the end of the week, we have the pleasure of coping with unpaid invoices, unclear instructions and corrupt file formats.
During my exchanges with friends about the Corona restrictions in our countries of residence and the way in which these are communicated to the citizens, I have found that we have a trump card here in the Netherlands that is not to be found in any other country: We have Irma!
You probably missed the short article last week that related how the UK was funding a programme to explore the feasibility of dogs recognizing Covid-19 from its scent. Labradores, Spaniels and other smart-nosed breeds are already deployed to sniff out contraband, drugs, even apples if you dare to smuggle one into the States in your lunch box. They can also spot cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s, though you wonder why bother with the last what with the striking visual clues of the disease.
It would be nice if I could tell you my core message right at the beginning and thus enable you to decide right here whether it is worth reading on.
But things are different. For the moment I am glad to have overcome this inhibition in front of a blank page. Just as Heinrich von Kleist expressed himself about the gradual development of thoughts while speaking, so I am writing here about a gradual development of my own thoughts while writing.
The title promises something like a journey, a thought journey. I invite you to accompany me. I love travelling and moreover it is a beautiful metaphor.
Editor’s note: We have already introduced this friendly animal to you in 2019 with the article “Blame Management.” For the following text we thought it would be appropriate to get our “scapegoat” out of the archive once again!
After part 1 of this work finally exposed the perfidious and anti-democratic machinations of the big brewery mafia without mercy, now the announced continuation.
What has Sars-Cov2 to do with guilt? The answer is short and to the point: I have an suspicion.
This morning after the yoga flow programme and feeding the birds in the garden, I discovered an article in the newspaper that took me back in time: The Bauer publishing house is opening its Bravo Archive from 1956 – 1994 (https://www.bravo-archiv.de/home.php).
Yes, yes, Bravo. When I discovered it then, at the age of 12, shortly before the Olympic Games in Munich, I was immediately one of its millions of enthusiastic readers. Because when I was 12, my life consisted of school, homework, meeting friends on the street and on weekends largely of boredom. Bravo was a grateful distraction, as it fuelled a 12-year-old girl’s many fantasies.
Did you read it too? In Greenland and Hong Kong the consumption of alcohol has been banned or severely restricted. And in Mexico the Corona brewery was closed down. While in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, no more alcohol can be purchased, in Hong Kong no drinks with more than 2.25 percent alcohol content were allowed to be served and sales were completely prohibited.
Up to now, some of my colleagues have worked from home because they wanted to do it themselves (and sometimes their managers had to be convinced). Those who received management blessing then took special care to appear just as professional from home as from the office – or even more professional. The webcam background was checked for telltale elements that could allow conclusions to be drawn about private life, and any acoustic disturbances were also eliminated. It is better to sweat with the window closed than to risk the noise of the nearby carnival penetrating through the phone.
And all this is – at least in my experience – suddenly quite different…
… was what Andreas Bourani already sang in 2011. In the past days and weeks this phrase has often come into my head. The connection may not be immediately apparent to everyone, but the corona pandemic somehow made me aware of it again.