Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm not sure what brought about the idea for this cartoon, because I've only had a couple of non-English speaking encounters. One of these days I'd like to quit being lazy and learn one of the target languages our library is most in need of: Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, cool would that be?
Special thanks to M.A. (who just started working in our circulation department) for his help with the proper Spanish translation.


Sini said...

Hi, Greetings from Finland :D

We have two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, and so we are required by law to be able to serve our customers on both languages. (But it doesn't mean that everyone has to be fluent in both.) Most of the younger staff can English better than Swedish. Including me ;) but yes I try my best with Swedish speaking customers as well. But for some reason they often switch to Finnish, hmm... So I don't even get the practise I'd need!

I've enjoyed your comics, thank you!

Dawn said...

*haha* Cute! You know, the library is offering a Spanish course that we can take on our own time. Of course, they are at a place and time that is inconvenient for everyone ( T-Th morning at nopo? WTF?), but they are available...

Wow, hi to Finland! The same thing happened to me when I lived in Germany, nobody let me practice, because everyone there spoke English better than I spoke German.

Jayson said...

Sini - Thanks for checking out my comics...the subject of different languages makes me want to do more traveling. Maybe I'll even visit Finland someday. :D
And thanks again for your comments Dawn.

The Mushroom said...

For a temp job I worked in consumer loan collections for a major bank -- I was the guy who called 2 weeks to 90 days after a payment was due to ask nicely what the problem was. No one likes talking to collections folks, even the nice ones like me. People would whip into other languages to avoid talking to me (and then there was the person who put their fax machine on their voice line, which actually made communication much easier!), two of which stand out:

a) The woman who claimed she was from a French-speaking country and couldn't talk to me and hung up. I've had 2.5 years of high school French, so I called the number back, got the machine (surprise?), and left a message in French.

b) The woman who claimed she was monolingual Spanish -- in probably the worst first semester Spanish construction, ever. The couple's last name was Jones. So I called back, got the machine (surprise?), and left a message in English followed with (in the most dripping sarcasm available) "And now, in Spanish..." and pushed the button that started the Spanish-language recording we had integrated into our dialer as a convenience.

marfita said...

Wow, dude! You're popular in Finland! I am impressed! I've taken Spanish, German, French, Latin, and Ancient Greek and I still can't understand what kids say. Stop mumbling! Where do you think you are? The library?
We have a growing Spanish-speaking population and I'm enjoying the continual humiliations of trying to express myself about library stuff.

Alexis said...

HAHA, this is a great one, dude. Reminds me of the olden days at Carpetville, USA, too..

In otherwise completely unrelated news, sometimes when I get spare-changed I just say, "Sorry, I don't speak English." But I actually say it in English. It totally works!