I was walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A woman stopped me and pointed to her phone, and I ascertained that this woman didn’t speak English, and was going to try to ask me a question via her phone. She had earbuds in, and it looked like she would say something and then the phone would show the English translation.

Sounds good, right?


The first thing that came up was roughly:

“Do you know the Mother’s coin.”


“The pond is the woman.”


“It’s the big ugly person”

followed by

“Oh shit no”

The woman proceeded to turn fifty shades of red, and just walked off, actually ran off, as she tried to bow to me. I never did figure out what work she was trying to locate.

So score 1 for the theory of technology and being able to further communication with one another, but for now, we will just have to muddle through the trial and error!

45 thoughts on “When Tech Doesn’t Work

    1. We were in the Asian section. There’s a pond like thing in one room, but Theresa Goddess statue in another…my early guess was one of those two things but I wasn’t sure. I felt so bad because the Met translates in a bunch of languages but I guess not hers

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That is funny for us to read about. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that I was able to rely on a native Spanish speaker for an IEP meeting I had this past year and not google translator. I had a challenging time finding someone willing to be at the meeting held after school and afterwards, I was thinking of that app. Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh! I am laughing but I do feel for her! Hopefully she will eventually be able to look back and laugh at the experience! Who knows maybe she is writing a blog post about it too. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh that’s hilarious, but poor woman, she must’ve felt absolutely mortified. I’ve seen programmes where people use those apps when they travel, but have always had my doubts as to how well they translate. You only have to watch anything with subtitles over a language you know enough of to see that.

    Liked by 1 person

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