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Rough Translation   By:

Rough Translation by Jean M. Janis

Rough Translation by Jean M. Janis is an enthralling and thought-provoking exploration of the complexities and challenges that come with understanding and experiencing a different culture. Through her own personal anecdotes and experiences, Janis takes the reader on a captivating journey across various countries, highlighting the misunderstandings, miscommunications, and sometimes hilarious situations that arise when languages and cultures clash.

What sets this book apart is Janis's ability to artfully blend humor, empathy, and her own vulnerability as she navigates unfamiliar languages and customs. Her writing style is engaging and accessible, making it easy for readers of all backgrounds to relate to and appreciate her stories. With each chapter, Janis delves deeper into the nuances of communication, diving into the cultural barriers that hinder true understanding between individuals from different walks of life.

One of the book's greatest strengths is its ability to challenge conventional wisdom and stereotypes. Janis repeatedly emphasizes the importance of breaking down preconceived notions and being open to the experiences and perspectives of others. Through her encounters with locals, she demonstrates the power of empathy and active listening as essential tools for bridging cultural divides.

Furthermore, Rough Translation sheds light on the idiosyncrasies of various languages and their impact on cultural understanding. Janis skillfully weaves in linguistic trivia and anecdotes, making the book not only entertaining but also educational. Readers will find themselves more appreciative of the intricacies of language and the diverse ways in which people express themselves.

While primarily a book about cultural exchange, Rough Translation also delves into the power dynamics inherent in encounters between tourists and locals. Janis touches upon issues of privilege, identity, and the ethical responsibility travelers have when engaging with different cultures. Her candid reflections give readers a deeper understanding of the impact we have as individuals when navigating foreign lands.

If there is one critique of the book, it would be the occasional loss of focus. At times, Janis's narrative weaves between different anecdotes and stories, making it challenging to follow a clear storyline. However, this does not detract significantly from the overall experience, and it may even mimic the inherent chaos and unpredictability of cultural encounters.

In conclusion, Rough Translation is a captivating and insightful book that captivates its readers from beginning to end. Jean M. Janis's storytelling prowess and engaging narrative style result in a book that is both entertaining and educational. This thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of cultural exchange is sure to leave a lasting impact on anyone interested in understanding more about the intricacies of language, communication, and human connection.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction December 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

Rough Translation


Illustrated by Hunter

Don't be ashamed if you can't blikkel any more. It's because you couldn't help framishing.

"Shurgub," said the tape recorder. "Just like I told you before, Dr. Blair, it's krandoor, so don't expect to vrillipax, because they just won't stand for any. They'd sooner framish."

"Framish?" Jonathan heard his own voice played back by the recorder, tinny and slightly nasal. "What is that, Mr. Easton?"

" You know. Like when you guttip. Carooms get awfully bevvergrit. Why, I saw one actually "

"Let's go back a little, shall we?" Jonathan suggested. "What does shurgub mean?"

There was a pause while the machine hummed and the recorder tape whirred. Jonathan remembered the look on Easton's face when he had asked him that. Easton had pulled away slightly, mouth open, eyes hurt.

"Why why, I told you!" he had shouted. "Weeks ago! What's the matter? Don't you blikkel English?"

Jonathan Blair reached out and snapped the switch on the machine... Continue reading book >>

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