Sorry, I Canada Understand You, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | November 20, 2013

(I’m in Montréal visiting my grandparents. I don’t know enough Quebecois to have a full coherent conversation. Since most employees can speak both Quebecois and English, I usually start the conversations in English to avoid any complications. I walk into a clothing shop and one of the employees approaches me, speaking very quickly in Quebecois.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m only fluent in English. Were you telling me about the sales?”

Employee: *to cashier* “UGH, mon dieu! Crisse de cave. Petite cave…”

(This roughly translates into ‘Oh, my god, what a little idiot.’)

Me: “But I do know enough to ask for your manager. Or should I say, ‘Je ne suis pas un peu idiot! Où est votre gestionnaire?'”

(The employee turned beet red and retrieved a manager, who apologized profusely for her language. He offered me one free accessory from the sale rack, and said he will remind his staff to assume that primarily English tourists might know some basic French!)

 

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