Tag Archives: english

Unofficial Translator

It’s summertime again and that means that my workplace has been flooded with dozens of Europeans with J1 Visas. They stay in the U.S. for a couple of months, work hard and party harder, and then go back home to their various countries. They all speak English as a second or third language, but most of them have different dialects and delicious accents. They speak Russian, Gaelic, Croatian, Slovak, you name it. They are awesome to hang out with, so of course I hang out with them. And I’ve become an unofficial translator.

I can’t speak Russian, Gaelic, Croatian, or Slovak. I speak J1. It’s like English but a lot slower and it involves a lot of hand gestures. You have to be able to explain things in a relatable way. One of my J1s went to get a tattoo and had to fill out paperwork. Initial here, here, and here, signature here. I had to tell her what her initials were and what to write. I went shopping with another J1 friend and the salesman made a pitch that he didn’t understand. He asked the salesman to repeat himself to me so I could decipher the message and relay it back to him.

I’m not saying that Europeans suck at English. I’m saying that Americans suck at English. They use fancy and proper words. They say advocate instead of lawyer. They spell color like colour. They add the U. Fancy. Proper. Americans have dumbed down the English language, so that even when Europeans say something right most Americans can’t understand what they are saying. That’s where I come in. I can turn casual speech into proper speech and vice versa so that a more cultured society can understand our primitive selves. It’s enough to warrant myself as an unofficial translator. I’ll take it.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Red Pen

Think back to the worst test you ever took in high school. Remember how the teacher handed it back to you folded up so nobody else could see how badly you did. Remember the blow to your gut when you opened it up and saw nothing but red circles and red scribbles all over it, and a big fat red F at the top. Red ink hurts. It has power. And I will use it to my advantage. I think I will invest in a red pen or permanent marker and start editing all the things that bug me. I’m a Grammar Nazi, what can I say? It’s hereditary. My mom’s an English teacher and she instilled a large amount of respect for the language in me. I get annoyed when I see typos and grammatical mishaps. I feel compelled to correct them. It sucks having other people’s stupidity triggering my OCD, but I think a red pen would help relieve my stress.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

red_pen_corrections

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Subtitles on Someone with an Accent

It’s no secret that white people be racist. That’s why you always see subtitles on someone with an accent on PBS/Discovery Channel documentaries. There will an esteemed professor from an acclaimed universe talking about the nature of black holes in perfect English, albeit with a slight German accent, and the network will slap on a bunch of subtitles because they think you have no idea what he’s saying. He’s still speaking English and I understand English so they don’t need to degrade him with unnecessary subtitles. Save the subtitles for the ones speaking in a foreign language, not for all foreigners. Nobody wants to read when they’re watching TV anyway.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

TeletextNews

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Worthington’s Red Shield (beer)

One of the perks of being a beer guy is discovering a new beer. I went to my local liquor store the other day and the clerk told me to try a bottle of Worthington’s Red Shield. It’s an English Pale Ale/Blond Ale from England. It’s a nice golden color with a mild amount of carbonation. It has a bready malt aroma primarily with hints of grass, earth, caramel, and toffee. It tastes like it smells, it’s malty with some earth tones and a little bit of caramel and grains. It’s kind of bland, but in a crisp and refreshing way. It still has more flavor than Budweiser and other domestics. It only has an alcohol content of 4.2%, which makes it a great beer for day drinking. I would get this beer again, but I wouldn’t go to England to get it.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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