I thank goodness for a well established relationship with my overseas counterparts in moments like this. There was a long, muted pause on the telecom. Then the response was, “Dawn, we do not understand. Can you repeat, please?"
I almost did repeat myself and was randomly reminded of a lecture my dad gave me and my little brother when I was 7 years old.
Forget sarcasm or emotionally stressing of important words. Idioms and slang in any language can change a spin a language on its head. I realized I use so many idioms, I had trouble translating what I’d said into sentences without any.
“I want to ensure the best possible outcome by taking appropriate measures. We need to finish this project first as only the first team finishing will receive the award. We missed our last opportunity and it cost us significant money. Let’s double and triple check all the details to make certain we didn't miss anything.”
Based on my quick internet searches, even these few idioms had multiple possible meanings. How many of my other messages were lost in translation, literally?