Sunday, 12 July 2009

Not just the Brits!

It’s well known fact among British travellers communicating with those of another mother tongue that any English word can be understood if repeated often enough, with increasing volume. That was why our ears pricked up at lunchtime when from the table behind us came the refrain: WE ARE WAITING FOR SOME FRIENDS! As the gentleman in question was not using his native language one might imagine him showing some compassion for someone struggling with his accent accent; not a bit of it. Rowan was soon laughing, indiscreetly, at a poor waiter startled by an English language outburst from a Spaniard.

With their beer ordered they sat around waiting for their friends. Before long a line of X-Trails was neatly parked outside the restaurant, leading me to guess our entertainment came courtesy of EUFOR’s presence in Mostar. We know a few words of Spanish, thanks to a number of trips we made to the south of Spain in the late nineties; enough to make the assumption their noisy conversation later turned to jokes about Mexican pronunciation. Having conducted all our ordering in Bosnian we were able to leave encouraged that not only are the Brits not alone as language-insensitivity offenders perhaps sometimes they are not even offenders at all!

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