Friday, May 24, 2013

Pig Latin Interpreter Can't Keep Up

Akash Kumar, UN Pig Latin Interpreter
New York, NY

At 9, Akash Kumar is the youngest interpreter employed at the United Nations.  He holds a very important post interpreting between English and Pig Latin.  As such, Akash plays a vital role in fostering improved relations between the English speaking world and the Pig Latin speaking world.  Such communication is increasingly important given the vital role that pigs play in today's society.
Unfortunately, the demands of the job have become overwhelming for Akash, who still attends school full-time and has chores to complete at home.  He has even had to cut back on his after school Gibberish Club and rarely has quality time with his Mom and Dad. 

"It's a sacrifice," says Anjali Kumar, Akash's mother.  "However, we are so proud of our son.  How could we not let him work when crucial decisions about medical research, farm conditions, and breakfast foods are hanging in the balance?" 

Akash's father Raj has mixed feelings about his son's work.  "I have mixed feelings," he began.  "Very mixed," he added.

Lately, Akash is showing signs of slowing down, including blanking out during important meetings, staring off into space distractedly, and throwing paper air planes saying such things as "You Stink" to important diplomatic swine.

One contributing factor to the stressful nature of the job is the time pressure.  Pig Latin simply cannot be expressed as quickly as English, making it difficult for the interpreter not to fall behind.  As an example, a simple nine-syllable phrase like "Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen" requires 14 syllables in Pig Latin: "OodGay OrningMay, AdiesLay andlay EntelmenGay." 

Is the pressure too much for the UN's youngest employee?  "I loved my job at first," Akash admits, "but the truth is that it may be too big of a responsibility for a nine year old. I'd like to finish my education first, maybe get my degree in Porcine Languages, and then go back to work at the UN." 

The problem is that if Akash steps down, there is no one who could quite fill his shoes.  The pigs have come to like and trust him, and his fluency in their language is quite extraordinary.  "I guess I'll just have to keep going for now,"  Akash concedes. "What a boar!"

Written by Diana Shapiro
Photo courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment