Sunday, February 24, 2008

A story about translations and serendipity …

Last week I spoke at the handover dinner of a women’s service club and at the end there was the usual question time. During that discussion, I told the audience about my cupboards full of translations of my books. ‘If you know anyone who reads a different language and who might be interested, let me know,’ I told them. ‘I’d be very happy to give them away.’

A woman held up her hand. 'Do you have any in Indonesian?’

Now, Indonesian is my most recently acquired “new language”, bringing the total number of languages my books are sold in to 23. I had copies of A Wedding at Windaroo – not only that, but the Indonesian copies came with lovely bookmarks to match the books’ covers.

And so… my books are now in a classroom at the Townsville Grammar School… but here’s the emotional punch to this story. The school’s young Indonesian teacher died this year, the day before school resumed after the summer break. Her Grade 12 class, who have had her as their teacher since Gr 8, are in shock. They’re, naturally, terribly upset, worried about their final year at school without her – and ambivalent about the subject. And, the unit they’re studying this term is all about romance and relationships.

So here’s hoping the Indonesian version of Piper and Gabe’s story fills a useful, perhaps even a healing role for these students this year.


Anonymous said...

Oh that's a bittersweet srory. I'm just brushing up my Bahasa (and my French and German) so I can teach my friend's class to celebrate he International Year of Languages. No better place than your books for relationships and romance.

Barbara Hannay said...

I didn't realise it was the International Year of languages, Cindy. You've got me thinking. There must be more ways to use my translations. Much better to have them out there, circulating, than just sitting in my cupboard.
I hope you have fun with your friend's class.