Monday, May 4, 2009

UPDATED: Translating The Thrill

The biggest challenge of my tour promoting the Polish edition of The Thrill of the Chaste was learning how to give a speech via an interpreter.

The Soli Deo club, a Catholic college-student group, just posted four videos comprising the first 40 minutes of the hourlong talk I gave to its members at the Warsaw School of Economics on the morning of Saturday, April 18. It was my first public lecture in that country (as opposed to the "talk show" format of my appearance at the previous evening's Master Academy of Love). You can see in the videos that I was just getting the hang of the unique requirements that using an interpreter entails, such as speaking in short sentences.

My talks are mostly ad libbed, so it was a real challenge to learn how to keep my train of thought throughout the interruptions. It took me a few talks before I began to lose the habit of staring at the interpreter to see when it was my cue to resume speaking. I also did not realize at first why my usual talk, which is about 30 minutes long, was turning into an hour. Of course, it was because the interpreting doubled its length.

I hope Soli Deo posts the end of my talk, if only to show the audience and their questions and answers. About 100 students were there, a wonderful group who, as with other audiences I encountered in Poland, inspired me with their desire to live out their faith.

You are very much forgiven if you don't watch all 40 minutes of the videos in the playlist embedded below. But if you do watch it and are frustrated by the cliffhanger, the rest of the story is captured in "The wallflower and the carpenter" and in my interview for Air Maria.

UPDATED: Wow, the time must have just flown by as I spoke to the students. The video clips now total 110 minutes, and that doesn't even cover the entire Q&A session. Of course, my part of that was only 55 minutes or so, given the interpreter.