One of the various jobs I did in Sicily was technical translations. I specialised in translating and co-authoring medical textbooks and research papers, and legal documents. You may think this sounds dull but, trust me, they are far more entertaining than regular translations.
By doing this job, I learnt that Italian doctors are world leaders in brilliance, whilst most Italian lawyers are slightly less intelligent than earthworms.
I often had legal clients trying to check every single thing I wrote in a translation, because they could not understand how ten pages of Italian can turn into four pages of English. They would pore over the two documents, searching for the words I had “missed out”. I suppose they enjoyed it. Poring over documents is what lawyers do, isn’t it?
And then they would argue. Winning arguments is a lawyer’s job, too. It’s what lawyers think they are best at.
At least they do, until they meet me.
I don’t lose arguments.
One argument with a dumb lawyer went like this:
Italian Lawyer: You missed the word “date”
Italian Lawyer: In Italian it says “on the date 8th August 2013” and in English it doesn’t say “date”.
Me: That’s because English lawyers are clever enough to realise for themselves that 8th August is a date.
Italian Lawyer: Oh.