Translation for space astronauts
When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some astronaut training on a Navajo Indian reservation.
One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The
old man, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question which his son translated. “What are
these guys in the big suits doing?”
A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon. The old man got
all excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape
recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate it. He
So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation where the rest of the tribe listened
and laughed but refused to translate the elder’s message to the moon.
Finally, the NASA crew called in an official government translator. He reported that the
moon message said, “Watch out for these guys; they have come to steal your
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