You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone out of control

I like it… Oh… hang on… I don’t like it. Or at least, what appears in the speech bubbles are not the phrases that I would have chosen. So let’s start off with some Portuguese translation. First of all, you can have the actual translation by the authors and then you can have my second rate effort (alternative translation). I say that my translation is second rate because I abandoned language school at level I. So, here we go….


Cartoon helicopter

Actual translation: “I would love to have a helicopter”

Alternative translation: “I would love to be able to burn fossil fuels at 10 times the rate that I do with my car”

Yellow sports carActual translation: “That car is my dream car”

Alternative translation: “That car is part of a dream. The one where the schoolchild looks in awe at his father as he picks him up from the school gates. But in reality, he wishes that dad didn’t spend every hour of his day working to afford the payments”

Off-road carActual translation: “An off-road car wouldn’t be bad!”

Alternative translation: “It would be good to look down on everybody else.”

New carActual translation: “Wow! A new car!”

Alternative translation: “Let’s keep on replacing. After all, that landfill site needs filling up. Who cares about the energy and resources consumed in making it.”

cartoon cyclistActual translation: “I would like to have a car!”

Alternative translation: “I wish you would abandon your car and join me as a cyclist. If we all did this, there would be half a chance of saving this planet!”

PedestriansActual translation: “Wouldn’t it be incredible to have a bike”

Alternative translation: “Wouldn’t it be incredible to have enough space for a pavement to walk along. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we had some form of public transport.”

Cartoon wheelchairActual translation: “He can go where he likes!”

Alternative translation: “I could go along that pavement with my wheelchair if only they repaired the path and put in dropped curbs.”

You can’t help but agree with the sentiment in this animation. The message seems to be that ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ (Joni Mitchell, Yellow Taxi). But let’s not fool ourselves. Disabled people don’t look on helplessly from verandas as the world passes by. They don’t fill their lives with mawkish regrets about what has happened. No, they soon turn to the world around them and how it presents needless obstacles.

Of course the original song by Joni Mitchell was making reference to our environment (local and global) that we are at risk of losing. For this animation I prefer the much older saying by William Blake:

“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough”

Let’s hope that we know when we’ve had more than enough.

Oh shucks… My friend has just alerted me to the English version of this animation. Now it seems as if my translation is a bit redundant. But perhaps not? I do enjoy doing bad translations!



English version:

Videos courtesy of Bright Side Publishing

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