Tales from the Trenches: Humbled by “Humble” by Irina Jesionowski

Like many of you, my dear colleagues, I have made it my daily business to agonize over words.  Summarizing my long, painful and joyful experience of dealing with these pesky lexical units, I must say it has been humbling. In fact, the very word “humble” humbled me on many occasions. 

In January of 2009, I had an assignment in Western Michigan. An international corporation brought four Russian technicians to the U.S. for a three-week training course, and I was contracted as an interpreter.

The four Russians were very good, hard-working, salt-of-the earth young guys. For them, coming to the United States was an out-of-body experience, a dream come true.  Their American counterparts were very friendly and welcoming.  During lunchtime, a cafeteria was quite a cheerful place: Americans and Russians were exchanging jokes, discussing national food and, of course, beverages. Americans bragged about “the Russian five” – the Detroit Red Wings’ legendary Russian hockey players.  However, our hosts, whose ancestor came to the U.S. from the Netherlands, didn’t forget to mention that “if you are not Dutch, you are not much.”  [...] about Tales from the Trenches: Humbled by “Humble” by Irina Jesionowski

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