Don’t get me wrong – I can’t speak German to save my life. I can’t speak any other languages for that matter (bar English, of course). However, I do understand that people who speak English as a second language, fluent or not, have a put a lot more effort into their linguistic education than I ever did. I like to think that when a non-native English speaker holds a conversation with me, I am patient with them when they stumble over the vocabulary. In the same way, I know that the kind, pitying looks that they give me in turn when I attempt to ask for a latte in their language actually hold slight respect for my efforts (FYI, “Eine Milchkaffee bitte” got me far in the six days I was in Munich recently – any German speakers reading, I apologise if that’s totally wrong but it worked for me).
November 2, 2011
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