Tag Archive | language

Lost in Translation

This post is inspired by my friend, MW.

Since arriving in Tanzania, it has become evident that I will somehow have to immediately become fluent in Swahili.  Court documents and legal proceedings are drafted and conducted in English, but all of my co-workers converse in Swahili and bajaj drivers give far better rates if you can haggle with them in their own language.

I have been trying to set up Swahili lessons with J, who is highly recommended.  The following is our recent chain of emails:

From: Megan
Sent: September 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm
To: J
Subject: Swahili Lessons

Hello J,
My friend and I have just moved to Dar for six months and would like to take Swahili lessons.  We are both beginners and are wondering if it would be possible to try an hour long lesson with you this coming Tuesday.  We work during the day so are only available in the evenings after 6 pm.

Please let us know.
Thanks,
Megan
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From: J
Sent: September 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm
To: Megan
Subject: Swahili Lessons

Hello Megan,
For Thursday next week I will have other students at the same time and beyond.  We can try Wednesday if that will be ok for you.  Thanks for the interest.
J

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From: Megan
Sent: September 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm
To: J
Subject: Swahili Lessons

Hi J,
Does Tuesday work?
Thanks,
Megan

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From: J
Sent: October 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm
To: Megan
Subject: Swahili Lessons

Fridays and Saturdays will  be fine for me starting this week for the next four weeks, there after we can work out the new time table.
Best regards,
J

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Am I right to assume that Tuesday does not, in fact, work for J?
.
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