The Italian waiter stares at me with glazed eyes. “Piece of cake…?” he mumbles. I nod. I just asked him if he knows how to translate the phrase ‘piece of cake’ into Italian. He doesn’t answer. However, all of a sudden he smiles, turns around, runs towards the kitchen and returns with a large piece of tiramisu.
This isn’t working. There’s not much time left, because my new album will be out soon. In four languages. I’m translating all the English lyrics into Italian, French and Portuguese myself. I don’t regret it (yet), but darn..it’s hard! I need help. Preferably from native speakers, who master the English language as well as their mother tongue.
Sadly my best Portuguese friend can’t help. He got confused when I explained to him that the word ‘nowhere’ is not an accidentally miswritten version of ‘now here’. And the other day, at a French friends birthday party, I asked whether the French language has a specific way to describe ‘tough love’. This resulted in a fight between the French guests who couldn’t agree on what the best translation would be. I don’t think they’ll invite me again.
So now what? I’ve considered moving to The Hague (lots of embassies there) or Rijswijk (European Patent Office) or Brussels (European Parliament). Unfortunately, relocating would be rather difficult financially right now.
This is why I’m currently desperately seeking ‘international parties’ where nobody knows me and I am therefore still welcome. I’m not too loud, dress appropriately and come bearing gifts for the host. I’m a modest party crasher. I don’t ask for much, a bottle of mineral water will satisfy me. But is it okay then, if I linguistically brain pick your guests?