Once upon a time there were two friends, a guy and a girl. Both of them spoke English as their second language.
She had studied English for ages (even at the University) and spent few years in English speaking countries. He had learnt English at primary and secondary school, was using it for University studies and had spent few years abroad in non English speaking countries. Both of them had a really great level of knowledge of the language: the girl both written and spoken, the guy more spoken and less written.
After spending a lot of time together, the girl fell in love with the guy, so her language began to change. She was avoiding in her speech words such as ‘love’, but everything she was telling him sounded so romantic!?! He was always kindly replying to her, but without any transport of love. She was keeping trying to suggest him she was interested in him not just as a friend, but he seemed not to even sense that.
On 31st December, the girl texted the guy asking if, at midnight, she could express a wish for the coming year about them as a couple. After a while, the guy answered ‘Time will help us’. Reading that sentence, the girl got so happy because at the end his beloved guy had partially revealed his interest for her.
After few days, the two friends met up: the girl was convinced he would say something or do something to show in person that feeling he had only written to her, but nothing happened. The girl didn’t say anything, then texted him showing her disappointment: ‘You wrote such a sentence about us last time…!?! But I cant’t feel you like me as I do’. And the guy answered: ‘Of course, I like you’. The girl got happy again, after such a confession, but meeting up again the guy, she had to face the same previous situation: no signs of love. The girl got so angry with the guy she didn’t want to meet him up again. So, the guy decided to invite her for a coffee in order to talk face-to-face.
Sitting in front of the other, the two kept being silence for a while, when the guy began to express his point of view. He said that using English made him feel ‘in the middle of nowehere’, that was a way to say he was quite using the language without giving words the right meaning/weight. But the girl, wiping away her tiers, commented: ‘Using a language is like using a sword: its user only knows what he wants to do…to kill, to wound, to threaten. But I can assure you, in the way you mis-used English, you’ve already done everything to me’.
The girl stood up leaving the guy speechless.
This short story wants just to stress the importance of knowing exactly the meaning of words we do use speaking another language. It is a common thing, though, feeling a second language as just a means far away from us….something we do use indirectly to transpose contents from one side to another.
The point is that during this process, we do translate feelings, mood, thoughts…and these can’t be simply committed to the Fate. Of course, if we talk about a common translation work, things can get less complicated: there is always a proof-reader! But in everyday life, especially when dealing with other human beings having their own hearts, souls, minds…we need to be extremely careful with that, cause no proof-reader would be ever able to save us from a mess similar to what we have read about already.