Day 4 Slice of Life – Navigating Two Languages in a Meeting

Today I sat again, at the same desk-table I hardly ever leave these days. This time in a Zoom meeting with teachers to discuss how to assess young children who are home learning with their parents. Coordinators took turns asking questions of the administration from their department. The principal would answer English questions in English. Then an Arabic speaker would translate the Q&A for the Arabic-speaking teachers. Then vice versa–a question and answer in Arabic would have to be translated into English.

My husband came in from his duties for a break. He was sitting at the table eating a snack. He shared a few of the delicious dates he had stuffed with labneh and roasted almonds. Then before I knew it he was off.

Later in the day, he saved me from my sitting-at-the-dining-table-for-online-learning hell and invited me to the hospital cafeteria for tea. He commented about the back-and-forths of my meeting this morning, and asked, “Are your meetings always like that?”

No, my meeting are usually face-to-face, but the language do-si-doing, yes. That happens all the time. To be sure, lots of things get lost in translation, but we always recover.

Someday I’m going to miss these days.

Zoom Meeting in Two Languages


Here’s the card we made our dear vice principal.