American positivity

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Malika, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    My current translation project is for an American publisher. I spoke today to the editor at the company in New York and she was full of praise for the translation so far, with upbeat words about the project as a whole and the way everything is going. It may or may not have been sincere (perhaps dealing with touchy, easily offended authors makes publishers very careful in the way they package things) but at any rate I put the phone down feeling good, about myself as a translator and about this project in particular. With renewed enthusiasm for and commitment to it...
    And this is very American, this kind of unambiguous positivity (no ironic British doom and gloom here!) - and I think, when you celebrate on Thursday, you should also give thanks for that :)
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Awww, thank you, Malika! That is so sweet.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Thank you!

    We may or may not be positive... Some of us are downright cynical... But it is nice to hear.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What a lovely comment. I have almost zero international experience but in between marriages I had a relationship with a German/Canadian. It lasted quite some time but I found it difficult to adapt to a more structured way of communicating that was subject focused, lol. I've always been spontaneous and it was odd to find that confused him. It also confused me. DDD
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Actually... the key difference is that you (i.e. Americans) tend to speak your minds. Europeans are far more "filtered". (Canadians are a mix... either extreme, or in between.) If its positive, or negative, it comes out just as it is. For the rest of the world, that is "unusual" - we "filter" for our intended audience and try to avoid extremes.

    We enjoy you as our neighbor and our friend... but I don't think I could live there.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    As usual, IC, you are right (at what point does that become annoying :)? ) I believe that is the difference. But there is a kind of energy of enthusiasm, if I can call it that, with Americans sometimes that is very... invigorating?
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Oh, guys... We DO filter!

    The difference, though, between European and Canadian filters, and American filters is... This little piece of paper we call the Bill of Rights... We have something known as Freedom of Speech. Some people take this to an EXTREME!

    I don't sugarcoat, I tell it like it is. But... I hold my tongue more often than not... And I do understand the use of that unappreciated ability called TACT.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Most people here have forgotten what tact is and how to use it, sadly enough. And yeah, they take that freedom of speech often to the extreme.

    I'm working on teaching my girls tact. It's difficult as it seems their generation didn't absorb it from elders the way I did........probably because many of my generation didn't even learn it.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...I think you can throw tact out the window once you've earned the right.

    Sadly, most people don't ever earn it.

    I'm working on teaching it to the kids. husband does get it (though father in law and mother in law don't). Jett doesn't understand it, thank you Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), and Onyxx doesn't much care... :sigh:
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I should also add, perhaps - just to reintroduce a suitable note of British non-positivity :) - that since, as usual for literary translation projects, I am being paid little better than a pittance for it, the editor can afford to be generous with her oral recompense :sigh: