That way I never have to.

Garin

Senior Member
Czech - Czechia
Hello, everyone!
In a movie script I am translating, a director of an intelligence service talks to one of his agents saying:
We need people like you who care about the one life as much as they care about the millions. That way I never have to.
The agent saved his colleague’s life risking both his own life and the failure of their mission. But I am still not sure what he means by the second sentence. Is the director saying that with people like the agent, the director will not be forced to take such decisions himself? How do you read it?
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    We need people like you who care about the one life as much as they care about the millions. That way I never have to [care about the one life as much as they care about the millions. ].
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree it's ambiguous. It could mean the director doesn't care about anybody's life. Or it could mean that he does but he can sit back and let the agent care about people's lives. In the absence of any other context, I tend to agree with Garin. Perhaps the rest of the script will tell you what kind of person the director is.
    Cross-posted.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It's not about caring about people's lives. It's about caring about the lives of individual lives as opposed to the lives of large populations. The director's job is to look after the bigger picture, and he can leave looking after the individuals to his agents. I see nothing ambiguous in this. The "I never have to" doesn't mean "I never have to care about the millions", it means "I never have to care about individuals to the same extent".
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We need people like you who care about the one life as much as they care about the millions. That way I never have to.

    This is the boss of an intelligence service speaking. His job is to defend the populace as a whole – to protect the lives of millions of people. He couldn’t do that job effectively by focusing on individual lives. Nevertheless, he’s grateful to have had his own life saved by his agent colleague.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top