I’m still working on some posts about Kosovo, which I’m really excited about and will begin putting up tomorrow, but I thought I’d try something different today. I wrote the following for my Slovene class last semester, when asked to briefly describe a trip gone wrong. It could be the beginning of a story, and perhaps one day I will flesh it out, but I decided to include the original here and give a translation below (the only major difference is that you can’t tell from the English that it’s a woman speaking). That way people can see a bit of what Slovene (albeit it rather American Slovene, I fear) looks like. It’s funny to translate it because my word choice in English would be much different, and I would expand on a lot of things right from the outset, but I’m going to be faithful to the original, even if it sounds a bit bland. After all, it’s a reflection of how it was written to begin with and of where my Slovene was at the time.
Že tedne smo vozili po groznem neurju, ne da bi videli kakršen koli znak zemlje. Hrane nismo imeli takrat skoraj nič, ampak še hujše je bilo to, da nam je ostalo samo 6 litrov vode. Naš stroj, ki je delal pitno vodo iz slane vode, je bil težko poškodovan v neurju, in smo pred enim tednom obupali, da bi ga poskušali popraviti. Stroj je bil namreč skrajno zapleten, in smo izgubili našega inženirja v morju in neurju. Počasi se je žačel lomiti, in smo se nekega jutra zbudili ter ugotovili, da ni delal več. Zbrali smo vso pitno vodo-imeli smo takrat komaj 20 litrov: dovolj za 5 oseb za malo več kot en teden, če bi vsak od nas popil samo pol litra na dan. Čez 6 dni se naš položaj ni izboljšal. S šestimi litri vode (jaz sem že cel litr hranila za hčerko) smo zmanjšali dnevne obroke vode na četrt litra na dan na vsako osebo-ni dovolj niti za 5 dni. Hčerka mi je povedala, da bi bilo boljše, če bi umrla v neurju, kot inženir. “Neumnost!” sem rekla. “Imaš še možnost za preživetje-to je vedno boljše kot smrt.” Do zdaj še ne vem, če je vedela, da je bila to laž, da celo jaz nisem več verjela, da bi bilo to res. Dobro-laž ima tudi svoj namen.
We had been traveling for weeks since the terrible storm without seeing any sign of land. We had almost no food at the time, but even worse was that we were left with only six liters of water. Our machine, which had made drinking water out of saltwater, had been badly damaged in the storm, and after one week we had given up trying to fix it. The machine was extremely complicated after all, and we had lost our engineer to the sea and the storm. Slowly it had begun to break, and one morning we had awoken and discovered that it no longer worked. We collected all of the drinking water-we had barely 20 liters then: enough for 5 people for a little more than one week if each of us only drank a liter a day. After 6 days our situation had not improved. With 6 liters of water (I had already saved an entire liter for my daughter) we reduced our daily rations to a quarter liter per day for each person-not even enough for 5 days. My daughter told me that it would have been better if she had died in the storm like the engineer. ‘That’s ridiculous!’ I said. ‘You still have a chance of survival-that’s always better than death.’ Till now I still don’t know if she knew that this was a lie, that even I did not believe that this was true anymore. That’s alright-lies have their purposes, too.