Guard the meaning and intent until you can deliver them safely wrapped in another language.
My job is not to teach you how to interpret.
My job is to teach you how to learn to interpret, everyday, even when I’m not here.
Filling out paperwork at 2:23 AM in the emergency room:
Nurse: I’m sorry you have to work so late.
Uncle Dale: (Realizing how both common and odd that is to say) I’m sorry you have to work so late.
Nurse: Well, you know, it’s my job.
UD: Funny you should mention that, it’s mine too.
We both stared at each other for a moment or two and both of us burst out laughing. I have no idea why either one of us thought that was so funny but at 2:30 in the morning it really was!
You know them. You’ve said them. Usually with the same vocal inflection employed by Bob the Tomato when he says, “like butter on a bald monkey.”
Interpreterisms are always best when it is just possible that they are accurate interpretations.
Some of the best I’ve heard:
“It takes a mighty big dog to weigh a ton.” (It was said with such conviction).
(Misunderstanding a local sign for ‘prefer’) “aaaaannnnnd then a squirrel jumped up and bit me on the head?”
“I couldn’t wear the ice cream home or my mother would know I’d been with a boy.”
“It’s a kind of, it’s a thing where, it’s, it’s, it’s a, I don’t know what it is.”
“And then I wondered if I… swallowed the… Er… ate the… soap?”
What are your favorites?
Never mistake the main idea for the point.
The main idea is what you’re talking about.
The point is why you talked about it.
The main idea is built from the beginning.
The point usually comes at the end.
Understanding the main idea gives your interpretation structure.
Understanding the point gives your interpretation closure.
There is always a main idea.
Sometimes there is no point.
Eventually every interpreter will take one, for the Team. Today it was my turn. You’re welcome. Tomorrow it may be yours. Thank you in advance.