16 July 2009

Suki III: Please Never Let Us End. The Translation Adventure

I decided that if John was going to have spent so many years as an Army Aviator, he better know a little more Arabic than I do. If he were a real Army Aviator he would be about 25 years old right now, in 2009, and would be getting stationed in all sorts of Arabic speaking places through the rest of his uniform assignments, probably some of his contractor jobs too. By the time he meets Suki, 20 years or so from now, he should know a couple of different flavors too. Also, Suki speaks several languages and orders from waitresses and waiters in the languages she shares with those people. Seemed like a good match for the couple.

I enlisted the assistance of a Moroccan buddy of mine, offered to use his name in the book but that was purely up to him, and he agreed. So, someplace in John's background he was in Casablanca for six months and learned to order drinks and dinner in Moroccan Arabic.

This is a still a rough cut. Needs some tweaking.

"Hello Mister John and Miss Suki!" Þ “Marhaban bikum sayed John, anisa

"Hi Hammou!" Suki responds.

"Good evening Hammou, one bottle of cheap red wine, one
dozen Diamas D'Isle Oysters, one dozen Blue Point and a dozen raw clams please."
Þ” M`ssa Elkhayer Hammou, jib liya karaa dyal rouge tkon
r`khisa, wahed ezzina dyal Diamas D'Isle Oysters , wahed ezzina dyal
Blue Point, o wahed ezzina dyal clams khadra ila smehti.”

"Very good Mister John. Anything else? Steak?
Lobster?" Þ wakha a ssi John, yak ma baghi tzid chi haja
khra ?chi kotlit?, ola chi Lobster? .

"No, I think that
will be fine for us for the evening." Þ “ hadi chi Baraka had
(stop translating here)

"Which Arabic was that,

"Moroccan, I learned it in Casablanca, when I was there for
about six months. None of my Lebanese Arabic worked, so I had to

(Hammou returns with the order, translate

"Here you go Mister John and Miss Suki" Þ “ hak assi John o
anisa Suki”

"Thank you Hammou," (stop translating
here) John responds. Þ “chorkran Hammou.”

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