Friday, July 21, 2006

American Story #1

Judging by the way they drawled and dropped certain letters in words, and the fact that they spoke English, I came to the easy conclusion that we had a few Americans spending the night last night. A few of them were visiting a friend, which I assume hails from Bayern, and he had taken them all out to our restaurant for supper. At around 10:30 pm, one of the Americans, a woman, comes back down and asks our head waitress, Marlene, whom has a fairly good grasp of the English language, if she can use the Internet.

American: "Excuse me, but cuddeye use the inernet?'


Marlene: "Sorry?" (She is now completely focussed on the American -- you sometimes need all of your brain power to converse in a foreign language).

American: "The inernet. Cuddeye use it?"

Marlene: "I'm sorry, I don't understand."

Realizing the problem here, I quickly jump in, informing Marlene that the woman wishes to use the internet.

Marlene: "Ooh! In-ter-net! You want to use the In-ter-net." (She pronounces every syllable as crystal and as clear as ever, even rolling the 'r' a little).

So, the three of us go up to the computer, Marlene signs her on, and she is ready to go. I chat briefly with the American, telling her that I am Canadian, and that is why my English is so good. (American to me: "Wow, you have really good English. Where did you learn it?")

After leaving the American to do her thing online, Marlene comes up to me and asks if Internet is actually Internet in English. I tell her it is, but she is baffled why she had so much trouble understanding the American. I say that it is her accent, and she tends to drop some letters in some words.

"Schrecklich", says Marlene, as she busies herself again, which translates to horrible.

I grin. I stop myself from saying, "Well, what about this ridiculous Bayern dialect? What about your rumbly German and your different words for things? How about speaking in Hoch Deutsch for a change?"

It was a good thing I stopped myself. Not that I have built up hate against the Bayern dialect, I just found Marlene's reaction humourous, especially when they all know full well that they themselves speak a different kind of German.

1 comment:

OMA said...

Hi Miranda !
Why should they speak High German in Bavaria ? Each province has their own dialect. Juergen with his High German has a lot of problems understanding the Viennese and Bavarians. Now, with your experience in "bayrisch", you are going to understand uncle Franz very well, because the Viennese is very close.Have a great time and enjoy life. OMA