I genuinely don’t know why they did it, I must have had a project at school, but one night, when I was quite little, my parents stayed up late and translated a Greek folk story for me.
That sounds mad, doesn’t it?
It is, rather.
My mother was the one who could read Greek. I suspect my Dad was writing down the English translation as she gave it. Now that I think about it, I fancy that we were asked to learn a few folk stories from our parents before learning fables and such at school.
I think it was supposed to be more of a chat than anything else and yet, my parents stayed up until stupid o’clock, to translate The Boy Who Cried Wolf from Greek into English. They went through all the way to the end, to make sure it was the same story.
And it was. My Dad clocked it before my mother.
When I was much older and started college, we had to read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in English Literature. It didn’t sound so tough until we realised that what we were to read was in the original Middle English. It might as well have been in beeps.
I surrendered quite quickly after that. However, once I’d had a couple of days to consider my lot in life, I went into town and bought a copy of The Canterbury Tales – translated.