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A MASTER OF LANGUAGES
A MASTER OF LANGUAGES 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 23 November 1933, page 2

A MASTER OF LANGUAGES.

Dear "Non-Com."-During my sojourn at Jüterbog, Germany, as a prisoner of war, it was the rule every morning preparatory to moving off to work for the officer in charge to call out "Fall out the sick." When they had done so and were lined up, the German medico would go down the line accompanied by the interpreter, who was a prisoner. The interpreter, one of the K.O.Y.L.I.’s would ask each man what his trouble was and then explain the symptoms to the medico. The prisoners were surprised to find that for three or four mornings after the interpreter had taken the job on they were all receiving similar medicine-something resembling an aspro.

The medico seemed rather perplexed regarding the complaints and with several officers inspected our sleeping quarters, which had been a locomotive shed, and decided to knock a few more holes in the roof to increase the ventilation, but with no results regarding complaints.

Things were getting serious, till one morning one of the men paraded sick with a skinned foot, caused through wearing one-piece wooden clogs. After the usual questions he was handed a tablet by the medico. When the prisoner remonstrated, and showed the injury to his foot, it was discovered that all the German the interpreter knew regarding medical complaints was "kopf sinertizen," or the equivalent for sore head or headache, and every man, irrespective of his complaint, had been treated for such, hence the inquiry regarding ventilation.

That was the end of "Ginger" as an interpreter!

Grubberoiogist,” Frankland River.