Lost In Translation

One of my Facebook friends is a woman from Italy. It took me a long time to accept her request, thinking it would be hard to communicate. But I did and it was, although I used Bing Translator to send and receive emails from her. She has the same last name (married) and her daughter has the exact same name as mine so I assume that's how she found me, just doing some searching for someone with our same last name.

She was curious about my husbands family and so we sent a lot of emails back and forth. The online translator is not perfect but you can get the gist of what someone is trying to tell you. The last email I got from her was an invitation to travel to Italy to spend some time with her family. This is how it was translated to me:

Sorry if I got to hear but I was busy with my little one just 10 months. I wanted to ask you and your family from our if you like when you come and see us here in Italy and even if your husband relatives are not told my husband pretending to be so he has relatives here and does not feel alone. I hope to receive your positive response to greetings from the Italian family Mozzarella. And no, our name is not Mozzarella but it's Italian and close enough. 

Wow, I was extremely flattered that we would be invited half way around the world to visit, but that's just not something that you can do in a heartbeat. It would take years to save up for and then dealing with international travel and all that goes with it is not high on my priority list. So I kindly wrote and translated the following, trying to be honest but not hurt her feelings:

It's wonderful that you have a little one. I miss having a baby in the house, but I'm happy with a grown girl now. We appreciate your very kind offer for our family to visit you in Italy. We have never been to Italy or ever traveled outside of the United States. As much as we would love to do this, it would not be possible for us to travel. My husband doesn't get much time off from work and, of course, it would be too expensive for us. You have made us very happy, and thank you for the offer. We'd love to see a photo of you and your family,  can you email one? I'll find one of our family to send you.

I then sent a picture of our little Italian family.......and never heard from her again. Say Whaaat?

Or, what did I say that maybe got confused in the translation? Did my answer come across as:

Are you nuts? Do you seriously think I can drop everything and fly across the pond to eat some kick-ass spaghetti? We're tightwads, plain and simple. If we are as close as relatives maybe you could send us some money so we could travel. And maybe you could explain to my husband's boss why he will be missing a few weeks of work. Hell, they already cut his hours, maybe they won't even know he's gone. And please tell dear Bella that I won't be able to help her get dressed and to her appointments for awhile either. She would probably still be sitting at the table birdwatching when I get back.

So I gained and lost a relative in about a month's time. Was it something I said?


fernvalley01 said…
MAybe lost in translation or just one of those things . Too bad I t sounded like a lovely opportunity .
Grumpy said…
Hilarious. I would like to see how your email translated into Italian.
kden said…
@Grumpy: This is the one I sent to her declining her invite.

Meraviglioso che avete un po ' uno. Perdere avendo un bambino in casa, ma sono felice con una ragazza cresciuta ora. Apprezziamo la vostra offerta molto gentile per la nostra famiglia si visita in Italia. Abbiamo mai stato in Italia o mai viaggiato fuori degli Stati Uniti. Per quanto ci piacerebbe fare questo, non sarebbe possibile per noi di viaggiare. Mio marito non ottiene molto tempo il lavoro e, naturalmente, sarebbe troppo costoso per noi. Voi ci hanno fatto molto felice, chiedendo però e vi ringraziamo per l'offerta.

Ci piacerebbe vedere una foto di voi e la vostra famiglia, è possibile e-mail uno? Troverò uno della nostra famiglia per inviarle.
Peruby said…
I'd be just a little bit suspicious of this person.
bill said…
Interesting. I have an Italian connection and have tried several of those translators with correspondence back and forth to Italy. Among the many errors that make it difficult to know what we are saying to each other, is my name. It always translates as 'Invoice" or 'Dunning for Payment', so they would say, "Got another invoice from Texas." So by mutual agreement we stopped trying to communicate directly. Now go through their daughter, my daughter in law. Enjoyed reading your blogs and the sidebars.

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