Thursday, July 22, 2004

Lost in Translation

I splurged the other day and bought a digital camcorder. The excuse is that I'm going to church girls' camp tomorrow to record and preserve forever the Pioneer Day program that Linda, C and I have been working on for close to two months now. Linda and I wrote, compiled and edited it. C has been working many hours on finding the right images to go with the words and music. Linda and I have been working with the girls for the music part of it -- teaching them the songs, the harmonies; and directing the narrators in the timing of the spoken word -- to match the music as required and all that other fun stuff.

It's been a lot of work and effort, and it seems a shame that it should get performed once in front of an audience of the girls' peers, then never looked at again. It's only right that it be recorded.

It was not a small financial investment, though I did not purchase a very expensive camcorder. After buying a tripod, memory card (it takes digital photos, too!), UV filter, tapes and the 4-year extended warranty, well, let's just say that I'd better get a lot of use out of it. I don't actually anticipate that being a problem. After all, this is what I did and loved in college -- shot and edited moving images. I was really good at it, too. It'll be fun to have an excuse to get back into that.

Since tomorrow is the day of the big performance, it doesn't really give me a lot of time to practice. I have to get it right on the first shot. Retent that I am, I've been perusing the instruction manual this morning. The first item that tipped me off to the fact that this was not originally written in English was this:

"Connect the DC cable to the DC jack socket of the camcorder. (When the battery is attached on the set, you should keep outside the projection of the DC cable.")

Huh? Go ahead, read it again. I'll wait.

Yup, that's really what it says. What does it mean? I dunno. I read it three times, thinking that I wasn't concentrating or focusing enough. It's just poorly translated.

Here are some other translation gems for your enjoyment:

"The PHOTO function lets you capture an object as a still along with sound, while in Camera mode." Sounds exciting. I wonder what types of objects I can capture? The flag?

Everytime it says something about inserting things such as a battery or a tape into the unit, it says "...until you hear a 'click.'" I love that. It makes me think the camcorder is going to start talking to me. "Click. Click, Laura, CLICK! I'm ready!"

"You can record 10 ~ 20 seconds continuously in once by the recording object."

"The file that you recorded are saved in a following folder." It never says which folder, by the way.

"While you record in Memory Card, don't eject it or it might break the data on the Memory Card." I had no idea data could be broken! I knew it could be bad, but broken?

This one is great: "Dust and other foreign material can cause square-shaped noise." Did you know that noises have shapes? Visually? To the human eye?

"You can use your camcorder in any country." Good to know. Thanks.

"You can make recordings with your camcorder and view pictures on the LCD from anywhere in the world." Phew. Because I thought, you know, the LCD viewer might not work in Mexico. I don't think it will work in Mexico if I'm in the United States, which maybe they should have specified.

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In other news, I am taking an on-line writing class. It just started yesterday. The first thing we were supposed to do was to post in the discussion area an introduction and a reason we're taking the class. Here's my introduction: "I live in Burbank, California with my roommate Linda who's also my best friend, and my two (and her one) fart-monkey cats. They are hairy and lovable and loving and obnoxious and frustrating and I love them. The cats. The roommate, she is not so hairy."

The instructor dryly responded, "Already your humor shines through, Laura." Yay! Mission accomplished.

Seriously, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to become familiar with different methods of writing motivation, as well as having my work critiqued and reviewed. This also means I'll probably be posting a lot of those assignments here. Consider yourselves forewarned.

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What I'm Reading, or will be soon, as soon as I'm done with the current batch of library books: "Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis," by Orson Scott Card. This is the third in a series about women in the book of Genesis. First there was Sarah, then Rebekkah, now these two. He also did one about Moses. It's fun to read these because of the character development about people we know about but don't really know.

Best Movie I've Seen Lately: "King Arthur." I have been interested in the Arthurian legend for as long as I care to remember, and I love it because of the high fantasy legends, but also because there's a good chance that this guy actually existed. He probably didn't do all the things we romanticize him for, and he certainly didn't do them during Medieval times as is so often portrayed. This movie takes the fantasy aspect away from the story, and lets the legend live in the time he probabaly did -- 200 or 300 A.D.; just as the Romans are leaving Breton after centuries of occupation. It's very historically based, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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