Losing A Sale In Translation

| Owatonna, MN, USA | Working | May 27, 2014

(My best friend and I are at the county fair, and are deep in conversation as we walk among the stalls. Note: I can speak German, and she moved to the US from Pakistan when she was four.)

Seller: “Don’t you ladies want to check out the cute purses I have? I can give you two a special discount because you’re so pretty! They’re totally unique, and on sale today!”

(He continues, being very persistent.)

Friend: *whispering* “What do we do?”

Me: “Don’t worry, I have an idea.” *to seller* “Es tut mir leid. Ich kann kein Englisch sprechen.”

(He sighs, but turns to my friend.)

Seller: “What about you, then? Do you want a purse?”

Friend: *shakes her head and speaks very rapidly in Urdu*

Seller: “I give up! How do you even talk to each other?”

(We smiled at each other, then gave a high-five as soon as we were out of sight.)

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