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It's a fact that one should avoid waiters (in cafes)
and taxi drivers. As a rule, they considerably despise
any client, and even more if it happens to be a
foreigner.

But I also had an experience of that sort in Norway,
when working in a fish factory with Norwegian students
(summer job). Once I desperately tried to get what one
of them was trying to tell me (and their idiom was of
the worst sort, the Trondheim one), I suddenly could
understand quite clearly that he said, addressing to
his friends: "Han forstaar ingenting !" (He doesn't
understand anything !). It's very frustrating when
you're really trying to get to the level.

The worse experience of all was in Kandahar
(Afghanistan), where I spent nearly an hour all around
the city, asking every guy a met where was supposed to
stand the bus to Quetta, Pakistan. Nobody could answer
me, but at last a man took me with him along small
narrow and dirty streets, than to the 1st floor of a
building, where he showed me the toilets and told me
triumphally: "Here it is".


--- Benct Philip Jonsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In France, however, most people pretended not to
> understand me at all, which can not have been the
> case.  One waiter even said to another "Il parle
> comme les Négres", and I can assure you I didn't
> say "Moi vouloir manger la spaghetti-là" when I
> ordered.  Neither can my pronunciation have been
> *that* funny, since my native language contains
> those vowels that English speakers can't master,
> and I made an effort to make /z/ and /Z/ voiced.
> Indeed I believe my grammar is worse than my
> pronunciation in French.


=====
Philippe Caquant

"Le langage est source de malentendus."
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

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