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    English And Polish And French, Oh My

    | Krakow, Poland | Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (Our bakery in question sells the best cupcakes, muffins and American coffee in town. It attracts a lot of English-speaking clients. Therefore, all the staff speaks excellent English. I am standing in line behind an elegant woman in her mid 30s.)

    Cashier, in Polish: “Good morning, ma’am. What can I get you?”

    Customer, in French: “I’d like a coffee with milk, please.”

    Cashier, switching to English: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. I don’t speak French.”

    Customer, in French: *appalled* “What?! I don’t understand! You’re talking to me in English!”

    (She turns to other customers in line.)

    Customer, in French: “She’s talking to me in English!”

    Me, to the cashier: “I know French. Maybe I could help?”

    Me, to the customer, in French: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Maybe I could translate for you? What would you–”

    Customer, in French: “She’s talking to me in English!”

    Me: “Yes, she is. She doesn’t speak French. Don’t worry, I can translate for you.”

    Customer: “But we’re in Poland! And she’s talking to me in English! Isn’t that illegal?!”