The giant and the lad


David et Goliath Part III‘ by Joelle

Good morning, folks!

I’ve just finished reading an awesome story related to a dreadful chapter in the history of Balkan area, i.e. the Second Balkan War of 1913. It’s not actually history, but surely it’s damn great … and true. I hope my peer and new friend, translator Dimitar Dimitrov, will forgive me if I use it for this post, but in my opinion such bravery has to be exalted and this is a good occasion. It’s about a young boy who stands up to a huge soldier of the enemy’s army threatening him and his cow, his family’s only treasure. The foreign soldier intimidates him with a frightening expression (or at least the lad perceives it as truly dreadful). Notwithstanding this, the lad stands up and eventually saves his cow …


noun: An awkward young fellow.
Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1540.
Burleigh’s breathless accounts of the many figures of the British peerage in the story read as though written by some overawed hobbledehoy, someone who fingers the noblemen’s lamé draperies in envious amazement and wonders how much they would go for at Wal-Mart.”
Simon Winchester; ‘The Nation’s Attic’; The Boston Globe; Jan 11, 2004.
Italian translation: Goffo adolescente
Well, this post is about the greatness of youth, about  courage and … language barriers! The opening is a bit misleading but it was my intention for one main reason: the lad was a hero in spite of the truth.  He resisted with all his strength and courage, he protected his family treasure from the apparent threat, don’t you find this heroic? As a matter of fact, the menace was not real, the soldier had no cruel intentions, the story tells that he was probably bored with a long surveillance on the bridge he was occupying (he was a Romanian in the Bulgarian territory, for the records) and wanted to communicate with the young boy, who probably reminded him of his lost youth, but … he didn’t know Bulgarian at all, so he spoke in his own (obscure) language. His role was of an enemy so the message was mis-perceived by the boy, but that’s the role play, an enemy is an enemy, no matter if he’s not at heart.
And you, what would you do in the lad’s shoes?
Your passionate (Italian) Translator
I would like to thank:
  • Translator Dimitar Dimitrov for his family story (the young boy is his Grandfather), it was a delightful read and gave me the inspiration I needed. I hope you don’t mind!
  • Painter Joelle for her powerful image, it was definitely what I was missing to make this post really ‘perfect’.

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