“Yes, This is mama” (a translation)

mamawav 

. . .

Feb 16 2011
05:18:46 PM

“Hey Christine

I need donkey.

I

your phone quite a while

I

I said

I love you

and you can’t even show

way you call me

once in a while.

I just wanna say

I miss you.

Love you

and

bye.”

. . .

Feb 24 2011
07:04:08 PM

“I love me,

Ken

Christina

put it

because Candy Conti.

I mean

I know you

got the flowers

go to bed

if a farm

then one

yeah

I mean young

into some comments

on price

birthday party for me.

So

I had a fine there

but I launched in

nice birthday cake.

And I just left it

in your flower.

Call me and then

you steal flower.

So I

I wanna say

thank you.

That’s I

have a nice blessed day.

I miss you

you all.

Bye.”

. . .

Mar 3 2011
06:23:42 PM

“Yes,

this is mama.

I don’t know me

calling again.

Please

tie me down here.

I got beat box.

Then I will come home.

I’ve been mom.

A security camera.

Then I

looking at your store

in Bellingham.

So thought I’d be you guys.

So when you hear my message

you call me back.

Okay.

Talk to you later.

Bye.”

. . .

Mar 18 2011
05:09:27 PM

“Little

on the Mc Conkey

a Krishna up

I was kinda talking to you guys

in so long.

So

I just call everything okay.

I miss you.

Because

you got two puppies

from nursing home.

One is gonna

be done

till 30

so

and we’ll

we’ll this.

So

they blog.

Boy I’m yeah.

Okay.

I’m fine.

I love you.

Bye.”

. . .

Mar 30 2011
06:26:19 PM

“We

owe you so

my son and my daughter

I last.

I love you

and

we will. Again

that he.

I cannot see it.

If you have my pool boys.

Call me

okay.

I do fine.

Let’s too.

I wanna hear from you.

Bye.

I love

you.

Bye.”

. . .

Apr 6 2011
03:03:38 PM

“Hi Tamika,

Casey

Sandy

can’t do

how you guys doing

checking on me anymore.

Just to call you

so one since

you and mom.

I missed it.

Okay.

Hi Donna

I love you.

Bye.”

. . .

Apr 21 2011
02:41:20 PM

“I don’t fall my son

Chris step on

my dad Earl.

I got your message

because Tina

how you

not feel good.

So and but

they had a hold

to feel better

and mama loves you.

We talk to you later.

Okay

bye.”

. . .

May 3 2011
06:35:01 PM

“Hey

you guys are never home.

I live a few minutes maybe

they

but you never called me back.

I’ll right you

mother.

I wanna hear from you guys okay

bye.”

. . .

Jul 28 2011
07:23:40 PM

“Hi guys,

how you guys doing.

This is mommy.

And I know

you’re leaving tomorrow.

Have a good trip.

Love you hon.

I miss you too.

Bye sweetie.

Bye.”

. . .

Oct 7 2011
12:33:26 AM

“Hey Christina,

I don’t know phone

why I waited doing.

I hope everything okay.

I just wanted

to love you,

miss you.

I

I.”

. . .

Nov 23 2011
04:20:40 PM

“Hi Mike,

Tim.

I talked to him a little while.

Well, she wasn’t

so I

excited it

then he wants it

they tell her

thank you Tina.

just think that Tina.

So if everybody is fine.

He said ID

about the rental car

rental coded to be the one

least several good […]

is going around okay

I love you.

See you

find my message again

call me back after alright.

Thank you.

Oh.

Talk to you later

bye.”

. . .

Jun 14 2012
05:36:57 PM

“Well you at.

I mean and 14.

I waiting for you guys

okay.

Bye.”

. . .

Feb 14 2014
08:49:43 PM

“colin(?)

if you will

come out pretty good.

It’s zero four

Or you like it.

Okay I told him that.

I was wondering(?)

you guys.

Bye.”

. . .

Mar 28 2014
03:59:24 PM

“Hi honey

I’m okay.

By the randy(?)

shopping on Main

back please-me-hey(?)

then I took a shower today.

Thank you

dressing off.

Lacy.

I’m still in a week

but it’s okay.

john(?)

after this morning

but maybe tomorrow night.

Alright.

I was just-pulled(?) doing.

I hope you okay.

Love you.

Bye.”

. . .

Mar 31 2014
02:31:31 PM

“Hi Tina

mama-try(?)

to make

your appointment for this Friday.

I got to-send-car(?)

but I

I don’t have

a new cell office.

what-i-don’t-display(?)

put it on.

I wonder-you(?) find

from you

so I can call

make an appointment for this Friday.

That’s all you-have(?) to see

nine days after

I come home.

If you get this message

and let me know

if you can do on that

okay.

Bye.”

. . .

Oct 16 2014
10:54:07 PM

“Hi Linda Mc Conkey

and Christina meat donkey

this is Mom

doing fine.

We have

I have

a scheduled

for October twenty first.

Okay.

So I’ll talk

to you later

Sudha.

Bye.”

. . .

These “poems” are “translations” I made from transcripts I pulled from the Vonage visual voicemail system, which sent me transcriptions of voice messages left on my home phone via email. The selections presented here were left between 2011 and 2014 by my mother, who speaks Korean as her primary language and English as a secondary one. As a child, I often played the peculiar part of a “translator” when I communicated what my mother had said in English to friends and others unaccustomed to her accent. Although she has spoken English in her daily life for over four decades, some native speakers of English cannot understand what she says.

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