Why We Need To Build A Universal Translator

, , , | Right | August 6, 2020

I’m what’s called a rep, which means some kind of a tour-guide. We are a Scandinavian company with only Scandinavian guests. We do different things, like taking them on excursions, welcoming them at the airport, and guiding them on the buses. We also have hotel service; we show up at the hotels to let them book excursions and answer questions.

I’m visiting one of the hotels, and when I arrive, the woman in the reception is talking with someone on the phone. I go to sit down and wait for guests to arrive, and I remember I’ve got something for the receptionist.

When I walk over, she’s still on the phone, and she’s telling the person on the other end the same thing over and over again. She tells them that there’s someone from the company he’s travelling with here, and after a couple of minutes, she gets him to agree to speak with me.

Receptionist: “This hotel is all [My Company]’s hotel, and this guest wants to change something with his room booking. Please explain to him that he needs to take his request with you and pay for the request to you, as well. We can’t take any money from him as he’s your guest.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll try to explain it to him, but I doubt that he will listen to me more than you.”

The receptionist hands me the phone and I’m settling for a long discussion with a furious guest.

Me: *In Scandinavian language* “Hello, this is [My Name] from [Company].”

Guest: *Starting to speak in English* “Hello, yeah, I’m coming down on… Eh, do you speak [Scandinavian Language]?”

Me: “Yes, I do. So, what can I help you with?”

He changes languages.

Guest: “Oh, okay, then! Well, I’m coming to the hotel this weekend and was wondering if [same request as the receptionist was explaining to me] could be fixed?”

Me: “Yes, sir, that is absolutely no problem!”

I explain to him how he’s going to fix his request, in the exactly same way the receptionist did, only in our language.

Guest: “Oh, so that’s how I fix it? Okay, then, thanks a lot! I’ll see you next week, then! Bye.” *Click*

He left both me and the receptionist speechless!

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