The Way You Intend


This is, quite possibly,  one of the most important activity one must master.  To translate is not to merely convert words or phrases from one language to the other.  Translation is much  broader than that; it is about perception.

The objective of translation is to attain understanding, and there is a difference between knowing and understanding. You may know what a person is doing, but you may not understand it.

“Where were you?”

“I was on the moon.”

If this reply to the question was given by an astronaut, then people would be congratulating him. If it was given by a person with any other occupation, it is likely to be consider sarcastic and annoying.

The context, the person, the tone, the expression, all these factor into the translation of a message.

We may perform certain actions with a positive intent,  with the aim to be polite or helpful.  Yet it is extremely necessary to remember one thing.  People will not always perceive actions the way you intend them to be to be perceived.

To diminish the possibilities of misinterpretations as much as possible,  one must attempt to be cautious of one’s behaviour.  The key to a friendly relationship between people is translation; the people are able to understand the message conveyed.

For instance,  if I were to walk up to a fat person in a supermarket and say “Hey, you should exercise a bit”,  it is extremely likely that s/he would feel insulted.  Even if I had intended to encourage him to exercise,  the message would not have been interpreted as such.

It is surprising that even when communicating in the same language,  so many messages fail to be translated.

Be mindful of what your messages may be perceived as,  because even though people you talk to are speaking the same dialect,  the do not have the same perception.  Understand the perception of the people you communicate with,  and use that to translate your messages into something they understand.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. I couldn’t agree more with the above. A person may know what a sentence says, but have no understanding of the matter. People may grasp at the word “sword” in the sentence “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” or something similar, but, just so long as people are ignoring the nearby words, they’re going to lack understanding. Switching topics to other religions won’t help, rather they’ve got to face up to their own mistaken use of the text. I’m sure you’d agree. 😉

    In addition, telling fat people to exercise, I think the person, in spite of their good intentions, would probably have to show more awareness of their situation before making such a ham fisted attempt at encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or maybe people will display confirmation bias and attempt to view the text as a peaceful one despite all the things pointing in a different direction.
      In those scenarios, it’s not misunderstanding, it’s deliberate misinterpretation to make something seem acceptable. For instance, a murderer may break into a house and try to kill someone. A cop driving by catches him, so the murdered says ‘I was just playing a prank, you misunderstood me.’


      1. Are you perhaps ready to speak on Matthew chapter 10? After all, you did appear to ignore context and abuse the clear meaning of the text.


      2. The bible. Ah yes, the text which inspired so many to kill each other. Which condoned slavery. All throughout this post I talked of how things are not always perceived as they are meant to. The bible has been perceived by Christians throughout history as an excuse to kill and oppress others. That is what the text has been understood as, and that is the impact of the text.

        I’d argue about the Bible when you can bring empirical evidence to prove it’s authenticity.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The very same Bible which inspired Christians like William Wilberforce to fight so to end England’s involvement in the slave trade, in addition to advancing the American education system (122 of the first 123 American colleges were Christian). Similarly, it’s the very same collection of ancient writings which led to Christians and a small tribe of the natives of China to end the horrors of “Chinese foot binding”, which they stopped by stressing the value of women.

        It’s not inappropriate to go into how the Bible has been perceive, my friend. However, that’s more about our cultural contexts and various political powers at play, whereas I’m simply asking if you’re prepared to admit insofar as the immediate context to Matthew chapter ten goes, you made an error. It would be an amazing thing to outline evidence for why the Bible were “authentic”, and to do so I might begin by quoting some of the secular historians who have given corroborating testimony of the Bible accounts (especially so with regards to Jesus). Yet, how helpful could such information be when you’re unprepared to admit to getting Matthew chapter ten wrong, Priyank?


      4. I’d like to redirect you to here, buddy.

        I know from our discussion that you don’t appreciate the Bible letters and biographies as having authenticity to them, for which I’d like to share with you some writers outside of the Bible. In my experience, the authors of the material which has gone into the Biblical account were, in certain cases, “historians of the first rank” as one expert explained. Nonetheless, I’d like to be sensitive to your objections, at least until you yourself feel so confident in the sources as I do.


  2. ron877 says:

    Reblogged this on Read 4 Fun and commented:
    Check out this blog. The 16 year old writer expresses his feelings on a variety of topics. Those writers wealthy beyond imagination will find his post on taxing the wealthy particularly interesting.

    Does this guy have a future as a writer? You bet.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s