unfortunate translation

had a funny tranlastion thing happen yesterday. i was told yesterday evening that during my seminar on young teens, when i’d been talking about how young teen girls are having their first periods at younger and younger ages, my translator wrongly interpreted “preservatives” as “condoms” (the words are fairly close in spanish), so that part of my talk went like this:

“there has been some research into why this is happening, but no one has come up with conclusive proof. the leading theory is that it has something to do with our diet, with more condoms in our food. i’m not sure that that’s conclusive, because even cultures without as many condoms in their food are seeing this age-change in when girls are having their first periods.”

it was especially funny in that no one laughed at the translation (so we didn’t know at the time). i can only imagine what the attendees thought i was saying about americans!

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