Created By: bulmabriefs144 on January 21, 2013 Last Edited By: bulmabriefs144 on February 6, 2013

Bad Interpreter

When the group translator either insults you, or is The Mole

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No, not a bad interpreter, we mean bad interpreter. This is an interpreter who if you're speaking to a group of people, telling him to translate "Don't shoot! We come in peace" tells them instead "They're spies who have taken me captive! Shoot them now." If you survive, he excuses himself by saying there was something he must have said that was misunderstood, and that he'll try again and this time get it right, to which he'll now say "Don't shoot them anymore. Offer them food and drinks and poison both."

Of course, usually this fails, when one of the heroes reveals they too can understand reformed cuneiform. Other possibilities are The Empath suspecting the truth, or a character discovering The Tell of this interpreter.

Of course, this is not always a dramatic trope. It can also be Played for Comedy, with the interpreter simply venting or having a laugh at your expense. It might still strike you as suspicious when you said something that wasn't actually funny, but well, maybe it's one of those things Lost in Translation. See also Translation with an Agenda.

Community Feedback Replies: 2
  • January 21, 2013
    I looked this up, and didn't see anything but tropes about translation, such as Bowlderise. So I don't think wee have this.

    • Druzil from The Cleric Quintet calls his master basically an idiot in Infernal, often in front of him. One of the evil clerics he meets actually knows Infernal, and starts laughing when he introduces himself as something like the "servant of the stupid one."

  • January 22, 2013
    Similar to (but not exactly the same as) Translation With An Agenda and the YKTTW Trolling Translator.