‘LOST in Translation’ - First day struggles of an international student Written by Alexia Galanopoulos
Vinicius, a 27 year old Brazilian lawyer, asks himself how he can further advance in his career. He concludes: learn more languages! So he sets off to his first stop, Toronto, Canada, to start from zero in his English learning process.
DAY 1: Vinicius, sure that he is able to get to school on his own via public transportation asks his homestay mother for directions. Of course, without more than ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in his vocabulary, he asks by pointing confidently at the metro map that his agency gave him prior to arrival in Toronto.
The pleasant and plump homestay mother explains in detail (lengthy detail) his specific directions. Vinicius, wide eyed and completely lost in translation understands the recurring word ‘Spadina station’….okay, he thinks, Spadina station is what he will be announcing.
With sheer determination he boldly sets on his way, enters onto the streetcar and announces to the driver “Spadina!’ The streetcar driver looks at him with an equally confident look, answers, ‘OK!’ and points to where one is to place either tokens, change or subway tickets.
Vinicius looks down at the fare collecting box confused and repeats, ‘Spadina!’ Again, the streetcar driver repeats, ‘OK!, and again points a little more obviously to the fare collecting box.
Vinicius is still not cluing in. He bends down and loudly repeats into the fare collector box, where fare, and definitely not his lips, should be placed, and announces ‘SPADINA!’.
The streetcar driver along with the front passengers of the car begin to laugh in unison. Vinicius, also begins to laugh after it dawns on him that this box that this man in this foreign country, speaking in a foreign language, is pointing at is for FARE and not a microphone to announce his destination.
On that first trip to school, Vinicius was invited to ride the streetcar free of charge. To top it off, a lovely young lady also helped him with getting the right fare for future use.
SO… What do we need to know? Check here to find them out!
SC GEOS' language courses in the U.S.A have been accredited by ACCET; in Canada have been approved by Languages Canada; in the U.K. have been evaluated and accredited by the British Council; in Malta have been accepted by Feltom.