Some jobs are just too awkward. You couldn't pay me enough money to do a few things in particular. Being a translator would be right up there. As enticing as it sounds to be an active audience in the drama of others, some drama is too uncomfortable to communicate. When you have to help strangers or even loved ones understand things that are better left to the imagination, that leaves a mental impression. Thank the Lord for vodka.

Redditor u/MrMatoKapo wanted the translators out there to tell us about some "interesting" times they've had to communicate by asking.... Translators of Reddit, what is the most disturbing thing you have had to translate?

It was not fun. 

A badly recorded and garbled video made in a hospital for children with developmental issues. It was not fun. The worst part was when a girl's parents were discussing something and the mom mentioned other children.

Then the father said something like "other children don't want to play with [daughter's name]".

For a few seconds after that he looked like he was going to break down, but then he managed to collect himself, clapped his hands in a gesture of hopeless acceptance, and started playing with his barely coherent child. Mind101


I worked in the humanitarian sector for a bit. So for me: testimonies of people who had gone through the horrors of war, had been assaulted, kidnapped, or had seen family members/friends/neighbors be killed in front of them. Also press releases announcing that a member of our organization had been killed while working in a conflict zone. CamelliaSafir

Carl's Jr.

I was once eating in a Carl's Jr. in Chula Vista, CA when a woman in her late 40's entered with her boyfriend (¿? idk really) arguing very loudly, everyone was very alarmed as most of the clients were families with small children. She went out and everything went normal again.

30 minutes later, I was waiting for the bus to take me to the international crossing (I live in Tijuana) when the same woman approached me and the ones who were in the bus stop asking for help and for someone of us to call 911, as she was physically abused by her partner.

She also spoke English, but she was so nervous she told me how he was dressed and some of the things she had passed in Spanish. Before she finished, she saw the man coming towards her, so I told her to don't worry, as I would call 911.

When dispatcher asked for details, I had to translate everything (as the Spanish-speaking dispatcher wasn't available), it was so awful I wouldn't want to remember it. Also, it was my first time calling American 911, so I was nervous as I had the idea dispatchers were not paying attention or were mean, but she was very nice and comprehensive.

Just as I went on the bus, the cops arrived behind it, when they approached her partner, he started running away, but was luckily caught. The last thing I saw was some officers calming the woman and arresting this man. I hope she received professional help, because she suffered a lot. Emi6219

I'm Great!


When my neighbor started telling my mom how great I am. Translating compliments about myself I found disturbing a bit. SaveTheNature


I do a lot of work internationally, and we use translators pretty frequently. After work one day, a few of us went to grab drinks. We were talking about how wild translating could be- one of the guys said his craziest experience was being the sole translator for the Russian National Rugby Team.

He was a Spanish/English translator. Three of the twenty or so Russians had played rugby in Scotland, which is where they learned to speak English.

So- Speaking Spanish for a team of twenty guys who were speaking Russian through three guys who were speaking Scottish-English (with Scottish slang) with a thick Russian accent.

Bananas. WatchTheBoom



When my French friend had met one of my American friends and they started flirting and dirty talking. I had to translate back and fourth.

Lemme tell you, hearing how your American guy friend is gonna have sex with your hot French friend so intense she's gonna be numb and forget she's French, then having to translate to French then having to translate your French friend saying she's his is pretty damn awkward and disturbing

They ditched me and tbh I'm fine with that. Don't ever wanna translate for them again. ExistentialNerds

My German is rusty....

I had a relative who translated games from English to German for EA. His English is excellent, my German is rusty, but occasionally he wanted input from a native English speaker.

He was stumped on "fusion gorp pus tosser" and I couldn't really offer any help on that one beyond something that flings a gross substance. sezah

The Gamble. 

Probably not going to count for much, but I used to work in the Online Gambling industry, so my job was partly translating "game" descriptions. Wasn't disturbing as such, but I mean I knew how problematic gambling can get for some so there's that. JimBro55567

The Butt Area.


A patient had hemorrhoids, described to me in full detail what it was like. Since the patient didn't know how to send an email, I received the picture by text and forwarded to the doctor. Never thought I would see another guys butt area tbh. huycx

Tech Support. 

Used to be a customer support team lead at a big video game company. We received a report that someone was grooming kids over the in-game chat. Had to read and translate (for my manager) the whole chat history for the last 4 weeks of a disgusting human being trying to get details off children to contact them outside of the game. Police report with the user details was filed. darkunrage


Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or ":zipper_mouth_face:" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.

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Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash

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