Skip to main content

A French Translator - Just Being Funny

Every Caribbean person comes out the womb bilingual. My goal in life was to speak at the least seven languages and maybe one day work as an interpreter at the United Nations. On my quest to mastering seven languages, I came across a little known tongue called Spanish.



As a big headed teenager, I believe French, Dutch and English were the most important languages in the world. Spanish was not going to be a thing. School administrators should stop trying to make Spanish happen, readjust the budget, and double down on teaching French. ‘Cause honesty, anyone who only spoke Spanish probably didn’t do anything great.

Obviously, I also struggled with history and world geography – as if you couldn’t tell from those strongly held and embarrassingly ignorant beliefs. The universe would later have me insert my foot – nay my entire leg – into my mouth because my future children are Afro-Latino. A moment of side eye and several seats for past Spanish-hating me.

But back to mastering French, It was the days of dial-up internet. My high school’s study career guidance room recently acquired two computers. Game changer. No longer would I worry about losing my USB stick or damaging my floppy disk. I could just access files via email.

“Oh, you’re in a rush to download your homework? It would be a shame if this cable became mysteriously damaged.” - G.E.B.E’s resident rat.

Theory test day: I’d forgotten to find and print a French article for my oral exam. Without considering the risks (i.e. electrical outages, unstable internet connection, and the devil), I lied to my teacher about forgetting to print my article. The plan was simple. Log onto MSN.com and pick a short 500-word article about anything. Next, I would navigate to MSN.fr, scroll until I found the same lead image and print that article.

Premature celebration at finding a vacant workstation. The connection was so slow, I imagined it was less painful to pluck my leg hair. Hail and brimstone! The MSN websites were not identical. Apparently, Americans and the French do not have the same interests. Strapped for time, I dumped the Britney Spears article into a translation website. Then, I updated the source URL to say ‘.fr’. I was the wisest teenager ever.

I was not the wisest teenager ever. Barely reviewed the printout my teacher said, “This is not French.”

“Really? I found it on MSN France’s website.” I bluffed.

Eventually, I was granted an extension. Moral? The robots hadn’t mastered translations. The UN would still have translator vacancies. Hopefully, they had a better internet connection.


What would you do? Tweet me using #JBFxOnicia


Created on St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. Onicia Muller (@OniciaMuller) writes, says funny things, and enjoys hanging with creative minds. Originally published in The Daily Herald's Weekender, Just Being Funny is a weekly reflection where Onicia laughs at life


Want more funny? Subscribe. Buy me ice cream. Share.
Onicia TwitterOnicia Muller Newletter Onicia Muller Facebook PageOnicia Muller YouTube





Popular posts from this blog

Unashamed Fangirl - Onicia Updates - October 2018

Newsletters don't always have to be exclusively about me. October is dedicated to Shouting out friends and their new projects. That's all I gotta say today. Got something I should see or someone I should collaborate with? Email me or shout at me on Twitter.
Fangirlin' Just a few of my friends who create dope ish.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich - Monthly Comedy Show
October 18 (and Every third Thursday) at Under the Gun Theater at 8 PM. Tickets: $5
A very weird, very cool monthly comedy/variety show featuring stand-up, sketches, characters, multimedia presentations, and more! Every show features a new spicy chicken from a local restaurant, for no reason at all. Produced by Robert Flanagan, Chad Weaver, Lucia Whalen, Lily Schulder, and Lyn-Z Harney.

Men who break their own hearts (Candice Lola)
Excuse me, kind miss, but may I lean on you for the payment of my company on your walk?
And because she was taught to be gracious, she allowed it. They walked along the path, making small talk a…

Nothing to Say - Onicia Updates - November 2018

Sooo, I find myself in a bit of a predicament. I want to send 12 newsletters this year but this month I have nothing to say. I thought about doing a year in review or thankful edition but I kinda don't have the energy to put together a 'meaty' letter. So what can I do to keep the train going and provide value? Yuck. 'Provide value'.
I could talk about my plans for 2019 but I've found it better and less stressful to share things that have come into fruition vs. prematurely telling you about projects. I thought about dropping links to all the media I consumed this month but meh, I'm tired. So tired I don't even want to proofread this letter.
Confession: I haven't washed my hair in over 5 weeks. I'm enjoying one of the best flat irons of my life. Sigh. I haven't been up to much. Just bumming it at home, listening to podcast and audio books, something something. Let's keep this short because that's all I gotta say today. Got something I…

Winnifred Jong’s “Tokens on Call” is a Masterclass in Woke Storytelling

You know a series is great when you feel the same or more excitement when watching it a second time around. I had to wait about two years, but Tokens was worth the wait. Winnifred Jong’s Tokens is a masterclass in woke storytelling.

As a viewer, Tokens was a fun ride with lots of surprises and instantly lovable characters. Jong’s storytelling is educational without feeling like an afterschool special.

As a screenwriter, I was confronted with all the tired tropes that I’d picked up and unintentionally repeating in my work. Rewatching the series was a great study in how to flip the script on race and gender issues without being heavy-handed or preachy.

In the eight 5-minute episodes were featured multiple storylines that came together for a fresh and fun viewing experience. I wish there were more Bettys (Shelley Thompson) in the casting world.

After watching the series, I daydreamed about how much more exciting the storytelling world would be if there were more diversity in gender, rac…