el número dos?
But as someone who cannot read Spanish, I was struck by the translation of "'Asi es, diario.' This is how it is, every day." (36) Thanks, New Yorker! But is it possible that the magazine isn't very consistent about translating languages-that-are-not-English? I've been left with untranslated French on my hands more than once. And not in the fiction, either.
It seems hard to imagine that editors would assign this story (about a Latino radio talk show host) to someone who doesn't speak Spanish, but one might read the ay misspelling and the inclusion of translation that way. Or one might interpret the inclusion of translation from a language-that-is-not-English here, but not everywhere, as an assumption, on the part of the editors, that the readership doesn't speak Spanish but does speak, say, French.
All this makes the untranslated moment, "But then he [Almendárez] winked and said, 'I oprimo el número dos. In reality, you can live well in America without English'" all the more interesting. I assume Almendárez was winking at Baum (but maybe he wasn't), Almendárez assumes Baum knows what he's saying (even if Baum doesn't speak Spanish, but maybe he does), and The New Yorker assumes its readership can translate this particular phrase on its own. But not other phrases.
Thank god I got into the italics habit. Now you can't stop me.
Categories: aural, literary, newyorker, baum