Archive for the ‘Language barrier’ Category

By French Standards, He Got an Obsequiously Polite Person on the Phone

Employee on phone with a French company: I’m sorry that you’re offended that I don’t speak French, sir…Well, I don’t know what to tell you. I speak English and Korean; I just don’t speak French. We have a great offer here. I think you’d like to hear about it, even in English…Well, if you’d like I can speak to you with what French I do know but I’m afraid it will only be “hello” and “yes” or “no.”…I’m sorry that you think my lack of French represents what’s wrong with America in general…

61 Broadway
New York, New York

1PM Lunch

Secretary: Well, we’re going to Jersey for that meeting, so we could go to the Village Gourmet.
Engineer: Yeah, that was good the last time.
Surveyor: Doesn’t the guy that owns that one own another one too, right down the street from the Village Gourmet?
Secretary: Yeah, but it’s really expensive, everything’s a la carte.
Engineer: What does a la carte mean anyway?
Secretary: Dude, you’re 26 years old and you don’t know what a la fucking carte means?
Surveyor: Aren’t you French Canadian, too?

One Penn Plaza
New York, NY

Overheard by: Melissa Miller

The English Don’t Think So

Suit #1: He’s from England, from some place called Portsmouth. I think it’s spelled P-O-R-T-S-M-I-T-H, but it’s pronounced like Ports Mouth.
Suit #2: Wait. Is it Ports Mouth, or Ports Smith?
Suit #1: I don’t know. It’s some place in Europe, I think.

Hotel
Kowloon, Hong Kong
China

Overheard by: Embarrassed American

Ironically, This Is a Drug Transaction

Client: Sorry I didn't call you yesterday, I had to chase my 25-pound dog for 40 blocks.
Sales rep: Oh yeah? What kind of dog?
Client: Apparently a Mexican one, if he can't understand when I tell him to stop.
Sales rep: That just means he pretends not to speak English so he doesn't have to listen to you.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Overheard by: Clarissa StTacocrotch

10AM Translation Services

Engineeron phone to production guy: Let me call you back. I might have someone check the Mandarin label for correctness.
. . .
Engineer on phone to production guy: Yeah, Pei* can come by tomorrow at 8:00am to check the label. Is that OK?
Production guy: No.
Engineer: Oh, is that a problem?
Production guy: Yeah, there are a lot of much better looking Chinese girls in the building.
Engineer: Uh…You are on speaker phone.
Three-second silence.
Production guy: Well uh yeah, that should be fine.

800 Beaty Street
Davidson, North Carolina

4PM Hire New Intern

Intern: I’ve got to start looking for a job.
Secretary: Did you talk to your Placement Office about networking?
Intern: They sent me some contacts. But they were in the Pacific.
Secretary: Did you contact them?
Intern: I don’t even speak Japan.

1010 Gratiot Avenue
Saginaw, Michigan