Monday, October 22, 2001


Last Sunday, the NY Times ran an article in the Business section about language translators. Language translators were in the news because firms that hire translators are looking for people who could read and write Arabic, as well as the languages in and around Afghanistan (Pashto, Dari, Uzbek). Apparently contractors who can do language translation can charge between $150-$220 per 1000 words.

When I was growing up, I relished the idea of mastering French so well that I could pass for a native. In high school, the teacher who taught French spoke Spanish, Italian, German, and could read and write Latin. I would learn Latin, but I would fall in love with French.

I studied French all through college, and two of my colleagues spent time in France studying computers and living and breathing French. One of my best roommates was French.

It was with great happiness that Jenn and I finally managed to visit Paris in 2000. I knew that I could have picked up French if I stayed there even a few weeks (we were there only ten days). By the last day of my stay, I was able to blurt out some French cordials, and ask decent questions (even though I didn't necessarily understand the responses).

Becoming a French student was definitely a road not taken. But something I would pursue if I couldn't fail.

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