...to thank you all for your supportive comments yesterday and to let you know that the biggest drama of the day was that I lost my keys and couldn't find them at the end of the day. After a huge search involving the assistance of all the sound personnel and lighting techs and security guys, I found them.
In my purse.
Underneath my lipstick.
And there was a small irony: The only speaker who tripped me up was a senior college student, American, local (I even know her dad, it turns out), no accent. She only read at about 6,900 words a minute. She was a tad nervous, clearly. The only good (and it's good enough) mistranslate was when she was going like a bat out of hell and she was quoting the guest of honor: "When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitive tits become irrelevant."
I kid you not. It was supposed to be, of course, "national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant."
At one point I just stopped writing. I had to stop, take a deep breath, and regroup. It was the only thing I could do. It was better that than make mincemeat out of the thing. But the speaker I was worried about? Piece of cake. Except when he said Shavuot and Yahrzeit. I was quite pissed at myself that I didn't have those in my dictionary, but then why would I? Most reporters around here wouldn't even know what those are, but because I'm Jewish, I could have possibly anticipated them. When he said, "Between Passover and Shavuot," and I knew for a fact that I did not have Shavuot in my dictionary, I substituted, "between two Jewish holidays." And when he said Yahrzeit, I just pretended he didn't.
Head in the sand works for me.
And kaddish did not translate properly, either. Damn. I saw that it didn't the first time he said it, and when he said it the second time, I wrote instead, "prayer for the dead." It's all about making a readable and understandable transcript.
The reason for no speech being supplied ahead of time? Because he winged the entire thing. No written speech.
The many hours of prep I put in paid off in spades, though, and I got lots of love and positive attention from many in attendance. Many hearing people, including the sign language interpreters, were, at times, reading the translation because they could not understand the accent. Later, a VIP asked me, "Just out of curiosity, how did you know all those Jewish words?" Heh. Of course, he doesn't know the half of it, because the true question is, how did I have them all in my steno dictionary. Knowing the words is one thing -- having them translate is quite another. Of course, knowing them is the requisite first step.
I'm exhausted, and I have a long day ahead of me Thursday, and possibly Friday as well. So I just wanted to pop in and tell you what an awesome bunch you are. Oh, and there are only one or two pole burns.