Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Lost in Translation

One of Saul's jobs is to help me with questions I have about my classes or my schedule.  This conversation is not to make Saul look stupid (he's not) but to demonstrate why things take longer when we're not all speaking our native language.  Sometimes nobody says anything wrong but things still don't get across exactly right.  In retelling this I have improved his grammar for clarity.  Also, even if someone speaks to me in bad grammar I tend to remember it in correct grammar.

Me: Last Friday a girl called me and wanted to give me my new class schedule.  I had to leave before I met her because I apparently got some bad Moo Shoo Pork.  I forgot her name.  Do you know who that might have been?
Saul: I think they're making the schedule now.  I'll print it out and give it to you when it's done, don't worry.
Me: She said it was done.  She wanted to give it to me right then.
Saul: Oh really?  Let's go see.
yadda yadda yadda and...
Saul: Here you go.
Me: What's this class?
Saul: It's an IELTS (English test) class.
Me: I've never taught one of those before.  Does it have a textbook?
Saul: Probably.
Me: A textbook assigned for the class?
Saul: I think so.
Me: Do I teach from the textbook? (sometimes I don't.)
Saul: I think you can.
Me: But am I required to?  Do I have to, or I can?
Saul: You have to.  Probably.
Me: So what's the textbook?
Saul: I don't know.
Me: Could you find out for me?
Saul: If you have a minute we can go down to the bookstore downstairs and find out now.
Me: Okay.
In the bookstore...
Saul: All the books on this shelf are IELTS books.
Me: Which one is for my class?
Saul: Any of these would work for your class.
Me: I'm choosing the textbook?
Saul: You could use any one of these to prepare for your class.
Me: Of course, but does the class have a textbook assigned to it?
Saul: Oh, sure.  Probably.  Almost certainly.
Me: And I need to use that textbook.
Saul: Yeah, you'll need to buy that textbook.
Me: So which one is that?
Saul: I don't know, I'm sorry.
Me: Could you find out for me?
Saul: I have a class starting in ten minutes.
Me: I don't mean right now, maybe in the next week?
Saul: Probably I can do that.
Me: Just get me the name of it, is all.  The name of the textbook.
Saul: Sure.
Me: So I can buy it.
Saul: Sure.
Me: And use it.
Saul: Okay.
Me: Okay. (I go to leave the bookstore)
Saul: So you don't want any of these books here?
Me: Nope, I'm solid.

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