America’s Political Sector Is Increasingly Bilingual
The United Nation (UN) employs over one hundred language translators –which, on any given day, convert UN floor discussion into 16 languages and sends the resulting message, or denunciation, into the earphones of delegates from around the globe. The European Union (EU) hires translators to covert inter-government agreements into six languages and three monetary currencies. International Organizations, large Banks, —and Switzerland— often hire three of four real time translators to convert barely understandable economic discussion into barely readable financial documents.
The UN’s real-time translators represent the elite of the translation teams. These rare, talented poly-tongued individuals can take a string of 18 earthy Arabic swear words and, within 1.3 seconds, translate the string into diplomatic flattery in Parisian French, a smug remark in Oxford English, or an elegant lie in Castilian Spanish.
Now, North America’s emerging bilingual status has forced the U.S. Congress and Senate to hire its own real time translators. Starting next fiscal year, twenty four talented young employees will work the Senate and Congressional floor and adjacent conference rooms, and use up to date technology and earphones, to translate:
–Republican bluster into American Democrat English,
–Democratic obfuscation into American Republican English,and,
–angry commentary into “off the record” comments.
Translators will also convert stray Spanish gossip into the proper code for reading out the speaker’s immigration rights.
Observers say the rapid emergence of a bi-lingual Congress has caught legislators, their staff, and political reporters off guard and explains much of the confusion in Congress over the past four years.
Political writer James Ames James, who has immersed himself into growing language split, tried his hand at Congressional translation by posting the following bilingual examples on the “Writers Without Work” website:
Speaker: We must act now to get our government budget under control.
–Translated to Democrat: “I propose to cut spending for the F-14 fighter and raise taxes on any CEO who owns a yacht, flies first class, or swears at bicycle riders.”
–Translated to Republican: “We must cut taxes.”
Speaker: What is the U.S. government doing in Libya?
–Translated to Democrat: “George Bush blew a trillion dollars on Iraq, and for what?”
–Translated to Republican: “What happens to us if Obama wins a foreign war?”
Speaker:“Do you know which way I go to find the men’s room?”
–Translated to Democrat: “Republicans make me want to throw up.”
–Translated to Republican “We must cut taxes.”
Congress is still debating how much to pay translators. Observers say that translating from Democratic to Republican (D to R) is a less arduous task than translating from Republican to Democratic (R to D). Therefore D-to-R language translators should get paid less.
James Ames, himself agreed that D-to-R translators should be paid less.
James Ames: “I have put together a phrase dictionary. It turns out there are over one hundred and twenty thousand Democrat phrases which translate to Republican as:
‘Did we cut all the taxes yet?’
That is, D-to-R translators can sit back and go on auto-pilot most of the day.”
To ease the Congressional transition, the UN has offered the U.S. Congress updated earphone technology, audio enablers, and a twenty four page list of the world’s top 884 Arabic swear words.
Washington politicians expressed hope that the use of translators would improve Congressional efficiency. A prominent Democratic summed up the Washington view:
“Once the translators are in place we will be able to simulate the economy, reduce unemployment, and ask our Republican colleagues where the bathroom is.”
Surprisingly, Republicans agreed with the Democrat comment. A prominent Republican made the following, on tape, off the record, inside a computer chip, comment:
“Once we hire the translators, Congress will be more efficient. That is, we can send all the Democrats off to the restrooms. Then, while they are out flushing toilets and exchanging global warming stories, we will cut taxes so low that the world will be forced to shut down the UN.”