A few weeks ago our Webmaster Allan, asked me to play poker with him and his friends on Thursday nights. The only catch is that they speak Spanish and I do not – at all. I took four years of French in high school. No Spanish, and more importantly no Venezuelan Spanish Slang, which is apparently what is spoken at Allan’s poker nights.
The first poker night went well. By well, I mean that I lost the $20 I brought, I had little idea what was going on most of the time. I ate four Brat’s, drank two beers, watched seven other guys laugh and get an occasional translation. The whole night was actually very enjoyable. It was certainly different. I’m used to being the majority. This was the first time in my 40 years that I was clearly the odd man out. It’s actually a bit sad that I’ve never ventured into territory like this before.
The second Thursday night was at a different house. I was told that all new guests to the house had to do a shot of a special Venezuelan liqueur (or maybe it was reserved for non cultured white guys). It wasn’t good, but my host did kindly offer to have his wife do a shot with me. I did actually win $10, but really didn’t learn any Spanish.
I would like to continue playing poker with these guys, but clearly I am missing out on the bulk of what is going on. I am in the process of looking for someone who could translate for me in real time. The idea I have would be to Skype with someone who could translate for me. I would be at the poker night and the translator could be wherever. They would get the audio feed through Skype, and could then text or Twitter a running feed of the translation back to me. Thus, this person would need to be fluent in Venezuelan Spanish and English. They would also have to be a fast typist.
Since multiple conversations can be going on at once, I would employ a directional microphone to try to isolate out whatever conversation I am tuned in to. Not sure how this would work out, but would be interested to find out.