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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Found in Translation

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. STUDY - 00:15

  4. Sitting at a desk with a textbook, a notebook and mobiles scattered around him, PETER is in thoughts.

  5. PETER (V.O): Should I carry on revising my Korean? Or should I go to sleep now?

  6. Taking another look of the stuff on the desk, Peter places them neatly and exits.

  7. INT. BEDROOM - 07:00

  8. Peter's eyes flutter open.

  9. PETER (V.O): Alright, time to get back to learning languages.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I don't want to break my streaks. I aim to finish my daily practices of foreign languages other than Korean before 10:00.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): For the rest of the day, I'll focus on Korean. I've a 3-hour Korean class tonight and dictation is one of the action items.

  14. Act 2

  15. INT. STUDY - 07:15

  16. Via the Duolingo App of his mobiles, Peter does his daily practice.

  17. PETER (V.O.): I like to start off with Portuguese and Spanish. Then, Italian, French and German. And then, Japanese and Korean.

  18. Pausing.

  19. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Initially, I got confused as to which language I was learning. Now, I don't have the problem.

  20. Recalling.

  21. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Decades ago, someone told me that every German spoke English...

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Now, I realize that English is quite like German.

  24. Peter taps highlighted words and phrases from time to time.

  25. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): For any new words or phrases, I just tap on them to see the translations.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I find the logic, customs and beauty in the languages.

  28. It's Korean time.

  29. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Apart from written assignments, I need to submit an oral assignment to the teacher before noon.

  30. Referring to a textbook, Peter works out answers in worksheets.

  31. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): But I've problems in understanding the questions.

  32. As Peter taps Google Translate and uses its camera functions, we see translations on screen.

  33. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Technology can be a useful tool.

  34. Anxiously checking the time, Peter recites a string of words about things in a study in Korean.

  35. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I think I can pronounce the words reasonably well.

  36. Having recorded himself speaking Korean, Peter submits his recording online.

  37. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): In fact, it was an assignment that I'd have submitted last week.

  38. Tapping Google Translate, Peter types: Assignment not submitted last week. And immediately we see the translation in Korean.

  39. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): I haven't learned the phrase in Korean yet, but I can still practise my typing in Korean.

  40. Peter then adds his remarks in Korean to his earlier message to the teacher.

  41. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Done! But I still have written assignments to do.

  42. INT. LIVIING ROOM - 12:00

  43. Appearing, Peter sees his WIFE doing the written assignments diligently.

  44. PETER: Darling, can you help me with something?

  45. WIFE: I won't let you copy my answers!

  46. PETER: Understood. But I've no idea what the last page of the worksheet is all about...

  47. WIFE: Just wait. I'll translate them for you when I've finished mine.

  48. Later, Peter approaches his wife again.

  49. PETER: Can you translate it for me now?

  50. WIFE: Yes, they're the summary of what you've learned in doing the exercises!

  51. Act 3

  52. INT. STUDY - 21:30

  53. Peter inserts an AI drawing entitled "Found in Translation ..." to a draft.

  54. PETER (V.O): As I'm not translating poetry, I won't get lost in translation.

  55. Thinking.

  56. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): The translations via Google Translate or the Duolingo app or my wife facilitate my language learning.

  57. Reflecting.

  58. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Found in translation, I'm determined to learn languages to fuel my lifelong curiosity.

  59. FADE OUT

  60. THE END

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