Translation in passing…

Sometimes when I am out and about I overhear snippets of conversations from the people around me, this sometimes makes me start wondering how, if I was interpreting that particular conversation, it would come across.

Recently I was sat with my daughter in a hospital waiting for her appointment, on the floor there was a young boy who had to army crawl everywhere as he was unable to walk due to a problem with his limbs.  I would say his age was about 5 or 6.  The following text is the conversation I heard from the couple sat next to us.

Woman: Awww look at that young boy

Man: Which one?

Woman: ‘im wi’ legs (him with the legs)

Man: (Turns and looks) yeah, it’s a shame isn’t it.

This made me wonder how we would translate the statement ‘im wi’ legs.  Everybody in the waiting room had legs, regardless if they could walk or not.  If this statement was translated into British Sign Language then it would become extremely visible and potentially insensitive to the boy’s family.

So exactly how would you translate that statement, would your lexical choice be

‘the boy who has a problem with his legs’

‘the boy crawling across the floor’

‘the boy with damaged legs’

or simply point to the boy you are talking about.

I’m still thinking.


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