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  • Welcome to my personal website. My passion is making valuable connections between people and ideas. I’m retained by several organizations to do exactly that and enjoy taking on special projects.

    I’m based in the UK at the moment and hope you will be in touch if you think that I can help you in some way or if you think that we could work together. Please have a read about the sort of things I’m up to.

    Lost In Translation

    Monday 22nd September 2008, 11:17pm

    Phrase book 1886 by j3net.

    It should have been obvious.  In much the same way as a diver should have known he was going to get wet, I should have seen it coming.  I was demonstrating Speednetworking in the world’s second largest city, the capital of Mexico.  Therefore there was only one way of doing things. Only one real conclusion; I was going to have to speak Spanish. 

    The good news for followers of my Curriculum Vitae is that I already speak Spanish.  The rather more amusing news, for followers of my life, is that I don’t.  That is to say, I have forgotten almost every single word once taught me.  Well, they say that the best way to learn a language is to spend some time there.  Although, I’m not sure that the time frame they had in mind was two days.  So I mastered ‘whistle’ (silbato) and I managed ‘three rules’ (tres reglas).  Beyond that, you will (if you really want a laugh at my expense), have to try your best to decipher as you go along.

    Thanks to the team at Impulsa, the event itself recovered from my mysterious introduction.  Mysterious, given that the guests were almost certainly left unsure as to what was to follow.  Actually, it’s a good job that Speednetworking is simple, otherwise there might have been a riot.  As it turned out, the assembled group, in the food court of Latin America’s tallest building, entered into the spirit of things magnificently.  I reckon they had been sent the rules beforehand in Spanish.

    Please forgive the poor quality of the video (just as well) and of course my Spanish (if you can call it that).  My own least favourite moment comes about ten seconds in when I have (sort of) explained that my Spanish is very bad and that I need to practice.  At that point, the word for ‘sorry’ completely escapes me, and so, feebly, I resort to my (embarrassed) mother tongue in a style not unlike Basil Fawlty, saying “er, Sorry about That”.  Fluent! My Spanish teacher would be so proud.

    The especially eagle-eared of you might also be able to make out my wonderful assistant (on the camera) prompting me at key moments of forgetfulness.  What a pro! Fortunately, several English-speaking countries await.  But not until I have flown to Chile’s capital city, Santiago.  First language; Spanish.  Wish me, er, Good Luck.

    OK, OK, the ‘video’ is over here.

    2 Responses to “Lost In Translation”

    1. Oli, hats off. Brilliant stuff. Muy bueno. Muy bueno. Love the bemused looking cleaner in the background around 2min.

    2. Cony says:

      Hahah, well you still earn points for the effort, I would say. You could always try to get a translator or some bilingual local to help you, anyway…

      Spanish is tricky, because its spoken very differently according to the country (as english is spoken differently in Australia, Jamaica, England or the US, same happens if you go to Spain, or Mexico or Chile).

      So even if you knew spanish you could find yourself in trouble.

      I live in Chile, by the way. What will you be doing in your visit here?

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