A room half filled with spectators.
A group of all ages, a father with his daughter in international school uniform, some others with recording devices, cameras, microphones. The rest with laptops, notebooks and pens.
A minister walks in.
With him a panel to whom his statement is destined.
A chairman who explains to him the procedure.
He prefers talking in his mother tongue, has brought his own translator. But not a translation into English availed.
Chairman says protocol needs English and so be it decided.
A grey-haired man, with spectacles to take up the task : translate into English.
The submission commences. 18 pages, to be translated.
The speaker needs 1 hour for his statement.
The translator translates. Falters, stops, breathes, construes sentences. Translates.
Speaker seems not content, continues nevertheless.
“You speak beautifully, but could you make the sentences shorter please?” a panellist requests, in his mother tongue.
The speaker continues. Long sentences, short paragraphs, long paragraphs.
The translator struggles, tries to keep at pace.
The public looks on. Try to make sense of what be told.
Speaker speaks out. He is not happy with the translator.
The poetic quality of his statement be not in the translation.
The translator tired, translates his complain. The inability of he who translates, bound by duty, translated by him to the public.
Tired, thirsty, tested, all seek a break.
A lady approaches the speaker at break. “ Can’t you speak in English?” she asks.
The speaker refuses.
And so continues the loss of poetic quality the rest of the session.