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|Daniel Frisano - Technical translator|
|"Unrelenting quest for perfection"|
The creative interpreter
A Mexican bandit made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas. Finally, a reward was offered for his capture and an enterprising Texas Ranger decided to track him down. After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, snuck up behind him, put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit's head, and said, "You're under arrest. Tell me where you hid the loot or I'll blow your brains out."
But the bandit didn't speak English, and the ranger didn't speak Spanish. Fortunately, an interpreter was in the saloon and offers to translate for the Ranger. He tells the bandit he is under arrest, and the ranger wants to know where he hid the loot. The bandit replies in Spanish, "Vete al infierno!". The ranger tells the translator "Did you tell him I will shoot him, if he doesn't tell me?". The translator repeats this to the bandit. The bandit spits at the ranger. The ranger shoots him in the kneecap and puts the gun again to the bandit's head. He tells the translator "Tell him this is his last chance. He tells me where the money is, or I kill him."
The bandit is screaming in pain and cursing the ranger. But he is also scared for his life now. The terrified bandit blurts out, "Tienen que caminar tres cuadras hasta ese gran arbol: allí está el dinero". What did he say?" asks the Ranger. The translator answers, "He said 'Get lost, gringo. You wouldn't dare kill me.'"
One for the British...
An American visiting in England asked at the hotel for the elevator. The portiere looked a bit confused but smiled when he realized what the man wanted. "You must mean the lift," he said.
"No," the American responded, "If I ask for the elevator I mean the elevator."
"Well," the portiere answered, "over here we call them lifts".
"Now you listen," the American said rather irritated, "someone in America invented the elevator."
"Oh, right you are sir," the portiere said in a polite tone, "but someone here in England invented the language."
...one for the Americans...
At a cocktail reception, a small group included an admiral from the US Navy and one from the French Navy.
The French admiral started complaining that whereas Europeans learned many languages, Americans only learned English. He asked, "Why is it that we have to speak English in these conferences rather than you having to speak French?"
Without hesitating, the American admiral replied, "Perhaps it is because we arranged it so that you did not have to learn to speak German?"
...and one for both!
A Swiss guy, visiting UK or US (as you wish), pulls up at a bus stop where two locals are waiting.
"Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" he asks. The two just stare at him.
"Excusez-moi, parlez vous français?" he tries. The two continue to stare.
"Forse parlate italiano?". No response.
"¿Entonces hablan ustedes español?". Still nothing.
The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted. The first local turns to the second and says, "You know, maybe we should learn a foreign language."
"Why?" says the other, "That guy knew four of them, and it didn't do him any good."