I Hear Voices

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Today's post is supposed to be about voice.

The writing kind. Specifically, I'm charged with explaining how my voice is the same as the real me and how my voice differs from the real me.

Now might be a good time to tell you that "parameters" have never been my thing.

Voice. That's all I heard, and I'm blaming loose interpretation for what's about to happen.

Jay, my freshly-turned-nine-year-old, showed me something cool with my new phone last week.

Prior to my new phone, I've never had free reign of Siri.

Sure, I've talked to her on the girls' iPads before, but she has never been fully at my disposal...until February 8th of this year.

I never understood what the big deal was with her. After all, it was just a female voice who told you what you wanted to hear and answered your questions.

Jay turned my world around when she showed me that I could turn Siri into different people from different lands, and I've suddenly found myself in the midst of a language explosion!!!! And it's glorious!!

It's slightly boring if you ask Siri things in English.

Also, when you talk to Siri in English and you're ten years old, she sometimes misinterprets what you said into something horrible. It's all fun and games with Siri until you are trying to get your ten year old to forget about the Viagra related ads that suddenly and unexpectedly invaded her device (a la Siri) when all she really wanted to know was "how to do a hard magic trick."

Therefore, if you want to make things more interesting, you can talk to Siri in Spanish...

Or you can talk to Siri in French...

And you can even try to talk to her in Italian, although I'm sure my dialect is slightly off since I apparently asked her something about pasta and my aunt who lives in Florida and Thailand.

How does she even know about my aunt who lives in Florida and Thailand?

I don't know. But I do know that I'm about to tell you the best thing about Siri.

You can make Siri speak in British with just a couple of super simple clicks. Are they even called clicks on the iPhone?

There's always been something about a British accent that stops me dead in my tracks.

British person it is.

In the meantime, I've determined that, without a doubt, I am absolutely monolingual.

So that's my take on a prompt that asks me to write about "voice."

I love language.

Absolutely love it.

A friend of mine went to Italy about a month ago. I tried to be fancy and wish her a happy 20th anniversary - in Italian. I said something about making good memories. Do you know how "make memories" translates in Italian?


Isn't that just super divine? The beauty of translation is precisely why I love language.

Today I watched a kid talk with his mom in ASL. He was explaining to her about his schedule. She didn't know the word "schedule," so he took a different route and explained it to her as periods...1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on; and then it made perfect sense to her.

This was so interesting to me - I love thinking through words and phrases that are lost in translation in verbally spoken languages. Today was the first time in my life I realized that words and phrases can be lost in translation in non-verbal languages, too.

I'm genuinely intrigued by this. I refuse to succumb to Google to find the answer because I am determined to deductively reason my way through this on my own.

The gauntlet has officially been thrown (even if only by me).


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