You have had a long day and you are thinking about going home for a sleep. You have spent the evening translating for a septuagenarian and he has got to a passage where he is saying his farewells. Not long and you can head off to bed and you just live round the corner. You are hoping you can get a decent sleep for once as the tourist season this year is out of control and you have to be up early the next day to trail behind him, glad handing and waving. Mama Mia. What a day. You lose track of what he was saying in his Spanish-accented Italian- something about noise. Yes, he’s telling them all to head off and give us all peace, so you say “Head home not making too much noise!” Except he didn’t. And the old geezer is Pope Francis and instead of cheering his pilgrims all up, you’ve rained on his parade and they’ve all gone home on their tiptoes, after practically whispering the last hymn. Not a good day at work.
The Gazeta Wyborcza article about the unlucky translator mentions that church experts reckon that in translation game it is better to perfect your subject knowledge rather than your subjunctive. The Pope had said “Go and make some noise!” , a call which echoed the rousing finale of a speech he gave in Rio. If the translator had done his homework and known a little bit more about who he was translating for, he would have known that. Can’t help but feel sorry for him though. It is not an easy job, after all..