Days like this one make my interpreting job special. I spent 3 hours in an ugly, grey and gloomy hospital. But I left in a good mood. I came there for an old Czech lady Rozy and her daughter. Rozy is a Jewish holocaust survivor and in the old age suffers from dementia and can get very confused. Still she speaks Czech, English, German, Russian, Hungarian and Yiddish. To compare this with my poor knowledge of 3 languages is slightly embarrassing. And very motivating.
Although the social worker asked for an interpreter, I wasn’t really needed. Rozy and her daughter spoke English well, the daughter probably better than me (she didn’t have the Eastern European accent!). But the protocol says that an interpreter must attend the meeting, so I sat there. Whilst the daughter talked with doctors and the social worker, Rozy took liking in me. At first she was just looking at me, smiling. Then she started talking to me. A lot. She told me bits from her life. She asked me questions too, about my family and if I go to Czech often. She was sad that she can’t go there anymore, due to her health. She spoke about her husband, who was handsome and was good to her. She mentioned her beloved brother, who never came back from the concentration camp. She cried then a little. Her face was so beautiful. Like a magic granny from a fairy tale. But her memories were not a happy-ending-fairy tale and they were still painful, even after many years. I wished I could hug her and comfort her, but a gentle stroke of her hand worked too and soon she changed the subject and asked me, if I had a family in England.
Meeting this woman was interesting and also very touching. As with many other cases, I won’t probably see her again and won’t know, how she is. I hope she is well and the horrible memories don’t haunt her anymore.
Dny jako tenhle delaji moji tlumocnickou praci vyjimecnou. Stravila jsem tri hodiny v osklive, sede a ponure nemocnici. A presto jsem tu budovu opustila s prijemnym pocitem a dobrou naladou. Prisla jsem tam kvuli starsi pani Rozy a jeji dceri. Rozy prezila Holocaust and ted ve vysokem veku trpi postupujici demenci a casto byva zmatena. Presto mluvi cesky, anglicky, nemecky, rusky, madarsky a jidis. Srovnat tohle s moji slabou znalosti tri jazyku je ponekud zahanbujici. Ale taky velmi motivujici.
Nebylo me tam vlastne potreba, prestoze si socialni pracovnice tlumocnika vyzadala. Rozy a jeji dcera obe mluvily anglicky dobre, dcera pravdepodobne lepe nez ja (nemela nas typicky slovansky prizvuk!). Ale protokol rika, ze tlumocnik musi byt schuzce pritomen, tudiz jsem tam sedela. Mezitim, co dcera hovorila s lekari a socialni pracovnici, zalibila jsem se Rozy. Nejprve se na me jen divala a usmivala se. Po chvili si se mnou zacala povidat. A ne malo. Povedela mi kousky ze sveho zivota a take se me ptala, hlavne na moji rodinu a jestli jezdim casto do Cech. Byla smutna, ze ona uz tam kvuli zdravi nemuze. Mluvila o svem muzi, ktery byl fesak a byl na ni hodny. Zminila take milovaneho bratra, ktery se nevratil z koncentracniho tabora. Trochu pritom plakala. Jeji oblicej byl tak krasny. Jako oblicej kouzelne babicky z pohadek. Ale jeji vzpominky nejsou jako z pohadek s dobrym koncem. Jsou stale jeste bolestive, i po tolika letech. Prala jsem si, abych ji mohla obejmout a ukonejsit, ale nakonec i male pohlazeni po vrascite ruce pomohlo. Brzy zmenila predmet hovoru a zeptala se me, jestli mam v Anglii rodinu.
Setkani s touto zenou bylo zajimave a velmi dojemne. Tak jako v mnoho dalsich pripadech uz ji pravdepodobne znova neuvidim a nedozvim se, jak se ji dari. Doufam, ze dobre a ty straslive vzpominky ji uz dal nepronasleduji.