I sat across from my host mom, fingering corn tortillas and spooning guacamole onto my plate, and told her I planned to see Los Juegos de Hambre: En Llamas, or “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” that evening at the local cinema.  I asked if it would have subtitles like Thor: Un Mundo Oscuro, or if they would have dubbed it into Spanish.  “The Hunger Games” is an enormous franchise; surely Hollywood could afford the auditory translation, I reasoned.  Señora Magda explained that they seldom dub movies other than those for children, simply because they can be too young to read along and understand the plot.  She surmised that they would only have subtitled “The Hunger Games,”  as neogladiators and dystopian societies bring onslaughts of violence to entice young adults, not the fuzzies for niños.

Her approximation proved correct, as my ears reveled in my language, the language I shamefully admitted to craving while studying abroad for four months.  However, my eyes easily followed the Spanish blinking across the bottom of the screen.  In one morbid scene, I remember Katniss screaming “Oh God, No!”  The accompanying text read Diablo! “Devil!” 

The panlinguistic translation utilized literal opposites to communicate the same raging sorrow.

Suddenly the refreshing darkness of the movie theatre vanished and the imagined cool, snowy air of home crept through the window seams as I jotted down notes about “human universals” from Professor Wilson, an evolutionary anthropologist under whom I studied.  I earnestly scratched thoughts about marriage, wariness of snakes, food taboos and the like across my blank notebook pages.   In his closing remarks, Professor Wilson mentioned that in all his travels, even his experiences in the most remote parts of the world, people proved to be more or less the same.  Outwardly, a brown ring from a Turkish tea house staining a passport or beads acquired during the latest moka in Papua New Guinea may seem different, but they signify the same nostalgia to the people that treasure them.  People value and understand the same things, even when concrete representations appear as exact opposites.

Navigating the seeming contradictions…that’s a magic greater than Hollywood’s special effects, a magic only found in real life by the most astute.


7 thoughts on “Opposites

    • Hi Abi!

      From what I’ve seen you are one of Adshayah’s friends? Congrats on starting your own blog and posting regularly. Im on vacation right now so I dont know how I am going to keep up. But yes! Keep writing and growing your voice and finding out who you are and what drives you to write. Just always make sure your motivation for posting something is clear to your reader.

      • Hi Emily,
        I am actually Adshayah’s sister. Thanks. I try my best to post as much as i can. It’s okay that your on vacation. A lot of people are. But i know you will find a way to keep up. You are so thoughtful to be writing such nice things. Thanks so much. You have inspired me. I will try my best to make my words more clear as for sometimes i don’t know how to say it or i am rushing. As for you keep up your good work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s