Sunday, September 02, 2012

I am HUGE in Vietnam

Cookshop in Huế, Vietnam. Courtesy Thomas Schoch
Holy canoli. Just a few short days after making my publishing debut in Spanish (thanks to a SFA blog post picked up by CNN and lifted by one of their Mexican affiliates), now I get the thrill of seeing my own prose translated into, of all things, Vietnamese.

Unfortunately, I don't speak Vietnamese. Fortunately, Google Translate (which is built into the Chrome browser) makes it easy.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much I can trust the automated translation. The headline of the piece translates as "Bread Vietnamese 'gulp' American city like?", which I've got to think is missing a little of the nuance from the original version.

But, the cool thing is that, in the eyes of Vietnam, at least, it's apparently newsworthy that the press in the "second largest city of the state of South Carolina" has picked up on Vietnam's classic street food. Here's how Google translates the one original paragraph written by some Vietnamese scribe before he or she blatantly pirated my text:
In The Charleston City Paper Charleston - the second largest city of the state of South Carolina, U.S., author Robert Moss has expressed his impression filled with dizzying speed of bread Vietnam food market this place.
Again, I expect something might have gotten lost in translation there, and as my editor and her repeated patient but firm deadline reminder emails will attest, "dizzying speed" is not something often used to describe my writing process.

But, how bizarre is it to think that there are people over in Vietnam reading my commentary on the sandwiches their own country invented? It is a small, strange, and almost unbelievable world sometimes.

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