Bureaucracy


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my short letter to you to using words from Post #6)

Bureaucracy – its seems to flippantly play a leading role in the play of my life despite my most concerted efforts to drop it from the script. I have resigned myself to the fact that this is a regular occurrence for everything from licensing my car to designing and installing a new closet, and I am not so naive as to think the red tape is at all particular to this country (just go to the DMV of any state in the US or snicker at the etymology of the word in the first place). What is aggravating in Brazil, though, is that here the inefficient rules and regulations usually come with prattle because Brazilians like to talk at length about anything and everything even when there is nothing whatsoever worth talking about, which I attribute more to the bureaucrat’s empathy at my being asked to follow 20 steps when 2 would suffice than to disingenuous attempts to divert me from my objective. Of course, catch me on the wrong day, and the incessant jabbering in Portuguese coupled with the already nerve-racking paperwork and protocol proves extra fodder for my possibly having a nervous breakdown. I honestly try not to cower at the 20 bureaucratic tasks ahead if I have a worthy objective (e.g. I need to license the car), but for amenities that are not so pressing (e.g. installing a new closet), when faced with 20 steps plus the carpenter’s telling me about his great uncle’s slipped disc and youngest daughter’s good-for-nothing boyfriend, I waffle about whether the objective is truly worth it. God grant me patience (or God grant that you be far away from me when I am frazzled and facing step 19 while counseling my carpenter).

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
UNBRIDLED
* As used in the body of this letter by Pope Francis to Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia (#geopolitics, #environment, #vatican)
* Bonus use: check out Kentucky’s creative use of the double-meaning of the word in its state slogan.
* As an interpreting opportunity from this excellent roundtable discussion in Spanish about access to justice in Latin America (#latam, #law)
ref. “problemas culturales, o sea machismo desatado” (24:50) – unbridled machismo
SUBSERVIENT
* As used in the body of a blog post lambasting an NYC school principle for deriding Spanish speakers (#education, #languages)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a speech on studies into legalizing medical marijuana
ref. “ciência não é uma coisa neutra; ela é totalmente servil à economia” (11:50) – science is subservient to the economy
SANCTIMONIOUS
* As used in this Toronto Sun op-ed on politicians versus Uber (#technology, #regulations, #transportation)
RECANT
* As used in the body of this Reuters article about exonerating wrongfully held inmates (#law)
RIVETING
* As used in the headline of this public radio review of the acclaimed movie Whiplash (#film, #art)

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