Chilean Miner, Edison Peña (and the art of translating the untranslatable?)
I shared this video interview already via FB and Twitter. I’ve also watched it about a dozen times and it still makes me laugh. When the Chilean miners were rescued, everyone thought for sure that “Super Mario” was going to be “the funny one”, but I think he’s got some competition. Edison Peña, (the one who loves Elvis and used to run in the mine for exercise), is hilarious. He’s visiting the U.S. on an invitation to run the N.Y. City Marathon and see Graceland. He was also interviewed by David Letterman where he broke into a spontaneous Elvis impersonation mini-concert.
I have a little trouble understanding Edison’s accent, so I’m not totally sure, but does any native Spanish speaker, (particularly those familiar with the Chilean accent), agree with me that the translator isn’t exactly translating word for word? She seems to add more on to what he’s said, (maybe she’s answering with things he’s said to her in previous conversations.) Maybe there wasn’t a way to literally translate what was said by Edison or David Letterman, but she’s quite funny herself and did an admirable job.
Hopefully Edison will love Graceland, but apparently he isn’t all that impressed with New York. When taken to see the Statue of Liberty he’s quoted as saying, “It is not white? I thought it was bigger and whiter…In the movies, it looks whiter.”
Then after eating a hot dog with ketchup and mustard from a cart downtown he gestured that they were “so-so” and explained, “In Chile, they are better!”
While some Americans might take these sorts of comments as insults, I find them hilarious. Edison reminds me very much of my Salvadoran in-laws when they come to visit. I guess watching so many Hollywood movies gets the expectations up a little too high and reality just can’t compete.
[Quote source: NESN.com/Matt Flores.]