Home > Germany > Mirthful experience between the languages-English and German

Mirthful experience between the languages-English and German

Communication is very easy sometimes if our opponent is able to understand and get all our intentions. As I have to mingle with autocratic people, language barrier remains a daunting challenge.

Some funny experiences here….

1. One fine morning, I wanted to go to registration office. As in Germany, it is mandatory to register the individual’s visa after arrival. Since it is far from my hotel, I opted to take a taxi. I dialled the number of the taxi guy and conversed in English.

SR: “I want a taxi today from Wemdinger strasse 4 at 7:15 A.M”

Taxi: “Morgen, no taxi”

SR: “I need taxi now, not tomorrow morning (Morgen in German means morning)”.

Our dialogue ball bounced back and forth like a ping-pong match and at last he acknowledged saying “OK”.

German punctuality has been a typical prejudice for several people and a story ages back to a clock (first clock) constructed by a locksmith, Peter Henlein. It was called “The Nuremberg egg”. The clock worked very exactly and that’s why lot of people got into trouble because they had to be punctual especially Germans. My kudos to Indians for getting exception here since we didn’t invent a clock..lol

Getting back to my taxi waiting story, he turned me down when I peeked out of the window… Yes, there was no taxi and I could see only my deserted street. Doubting German punctuality??

I dialled the same number again. The taxi guy picked the phone and I had to repeat the above statements again. This time it was clear to me that he was not ready to come and said very clearly “Morgen, No taxi”.

Bottom line: I could infer that he was ready to come the next day morning but not today morning…

2.My experience at a supermarket when I wanted to buy a SIM card for my VOIP connection went ruthless.

I approached a girl near the billing counter. (Generally in all shopping retails what I have seen in Noerdlingen, only women are employed at billing counters. I don’t know why…ofcourse in my earlier trip to Canada too!!)

SR: “I want to buy a SIM card”.

She immediately understood and gave me the pack. I had a query as what would be the least recharge amount every month if I want to use it for internet alone.

Ofcourse my doubts are always good enough but the same should be conveyed to the German shop vendor and make them understand. But how?? … This time I preferred to have a translator. She could identify her friend the so-called “Do you speak English?” in the most passable way.

The other girl came in and asked me “what do you want?”. I got freaked when she spoke in English. I asked her my lengthy 2 sentenced question in an easier and in a slow pace.

“I want to know whether this SIM need recharge every month or not. What is the minimum recharge amount? ”.

Both the girls were puzzled and came to a common understanding looking at each other and said “yeah..yeah..we have recharge”. The other girl at the billing counter was about to print a bill for 5 Euros.

Bottom line: Out of the two difficult sentences I uttered, their common understanding was I wanted to “Recharge” the mobile and can be done in their shop.

I literally ran out of the shop hitting forehead and laughed out loud…Pathos of my situation 🙂

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    September 27, 2011 at 7:13 AM

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