My Bahasa Indonesia and I

In my last thesis defense, one of my professors asked me this as an intermezzo question:

Prof: What’s ‘power exertion’ in Bahasa Indonesia?
Me: *shuffling through my Bahasa Indonesia vocabulary in my little head*
Prof: Unjuk kuasa.
Me: *Well, thanks for taking your time, Brain. Now I’m officially an idiot*

The thing is, being multilingual, you set your brain into thinking in one of the languages you are talking in automatically. You don’t think in your mother tongue and then in some way it’s processed into the ‘produced’ target language(s). I don’t think it works that way. That said, hat off to you, translators!

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