Friday, November 02, 2012

Lost in Translation

One of my best friends would always tell me back in college that no Gringo would ever understand me as well as a Dominican guy could. And by "understand", she meant everything under the sun: language, mannerisms, traditions, backgrounds, be it social, political, cultural, (... and Jew, lol...) you name it, every way two people can be different.

She would also imply that if I were ever "suicidal" enough to get involved with a Gringo, I'd no doubt drive the poor man crazy. She'd state things like "You think so much about what you're gonna say, that when you finally speak, your brain cells find a way to kill themselves in terror, and that's why halfway down your argument you find yourself sighing and biting your lips. And although it's cute as hell, (k, maybe she didn't say that part) it doesn't get you anywhere".

And "Imagine a poor Americanito, not knowing that we Dominicanas exaggerate and dramatize eh-vryyy-thaaang, trying to decipher all that's coming out of your mouth, while trying not to piss you off, while trying to keep his hard-on 'cause you know the brain and the 'calembo' don't work together all that well..." (this is where I would almost piss myself because she would come up with the best names for penises)... "I'd pity him... and me! 'Cause I'd have to put up with you when you'd finally let him get some while you watched the novela and the issue would never get resolved... So do humanity a favor. Stick to  a Dominican. And never look back.".

Things have changed so much since then. I no longer watch novelas, haha! I don't think all that much before I talk... And interracial relationships are all around me, and I'm not gonna lie, it's a beautiful thing that they've gotten this far. Taking the time to know not only whom you're with, but why they are how they are, the words, the habits, the looks, and my all-time favorite, the body language.

Maybe it's not something I'll ever experience first-hand, but how many things are we not exposed to, that fascinate the hell out of us? Look at my friend from college. She's married to a pretty cool Gringo! Two kids and everything.

Unfortunately something will get lost in translation, no matter where you're from. But it's inevitable, you can't think in someone else's head. You can't control another person's perception. All you can really do is try your best at making sure that what gets lost... is not love.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some sighing and lip-biting to do.


Baakanit said...

Como experto en la materia...

I believe that at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter where people are from, if both speak the language fluently you even forget that you are speaking in English all the time. I think that women will always be women, regardless of the race and country, and they share an universality in the way they behave.

Things get lost in translation even when we speak the same language, as you say, we cant never truly know what happens in a head that doesn't belong to us, it will always remain a foreign land.

Good to see you writing, your voice remains fun even in English, dale p'allá!

GirlFromSantiago said...

Baakanit, my friend, you definitely are an expert :-) And it has its pros and cons to not be able to mind read that person. if we could, then how bored would we become!? I hope you enjoy your relationship, as I can tell wherever she's from, she is one lucky MFer...

Thanks for gracing me with your presence!

El Poeta J.O.D. said...

A great movie too, Lost in Translation.

I think even within a Dominican on Dominican relationship things can be lost in translation depending on each person's individual experience.

Love in a way is not just color blind but language blind. If it's meant to be it will be no matter the barriers that stand before that love.

I think it always comes back to that argument of men and women miscommunicating their needs and desires.

And in the case of lip biting.. ;) who doesn't love that? jejeje :)

In the end what really matters is the chemistry that is felt and nourished properly.

Big hugs, keep the writing kicking :)