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The other day I found myself looking to my Scottish coworker for a translation.  Yes, the very same coworker who once told me about the "thud" and it took ten minutes and spelling it out before I finally realized he was saying the "third."  Turns out that a phone call between an American, a Scott, a Belgian, and a German is nearly impossible.  We might have all been trying to speak the same language, but there were at least three very different versions.  Though I've had some interesting times trying to understand the Irish and Scottish accents, the German accent was the one I found the most difficult to comprehend.  Could just be that my ear is getting better trained to understand those Irish and Scottish words.  I am exposed to them almost every day now and so it is much less of a mystery to me.  In fact, I've come far enough that sometimes I end up translating what they are saying for others.

Translator is one of those roles I have learned to take on in my job.  It is not rare that I end up repeating what a coworker said to the American on the other end of the phone.  America may be the melting pot, but it's a lot less diverse than it used to be.  I think Australia is a lot like America was a century ago.  A quarter of the population here was born in another country, mainly from areas like the UK and Asia with the odd Canadian like myself thrown in for some color.  Those who were born here take tremendous pride in knowing exactly which ancestor committed what crime to be sent over here as punishment.  It's pretty hard for me to imagine that someone was shipped across the world on a 6 month voyage for stealing some one's purse.  Perhaps it was a burberry?

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