Sunday, July 15, 2007

Babel

What happens when you bring a bunch of beginner German language students together in a bar on a nice summer’s evening?

Babel.

A whole bunch of people trying to communicate in any and every way possible, sometimes successfully and other times unsuccessfully!

Our after class drinks on Friday night consisted of 2 Koreans, 1 Chinese, 2 Japanese, all of whom spoke very little or no English at all, 2 Brazilians, 1 German, 1 English girl, a Romanian, Pépé and myself! Add to that the fact that all of us (except for the German naturally) spoke very very basic German.

Communication and conversations usually involve English, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, lots of hand signals and stick figure drawings! Trying to explain simple jokes can sometimes take 20 minutes…after which, the punch line is either no longer funny or even funnier depending on the hand signals used!

And what have we done to deserve this? Nothing. As far as I’m concerned, none of us has ever tried to build a tower in the past!

Anyway, Friday night however, after several weizenbiers, it seemed that the communication improved steeply! Conversation was flowing and laughs were a-plenty!

Or maybe that was just the weizenbier talking ;-)

8 comments:

Froggy Woogie said...

Alcohol helps you to understand A LOT of foreign languages. It also helps you to be heard and understood by others very well... and make you wish you hadn't said these words after you have sobered up hehe

J.T. said...

What beer won't do? haha

Maybe all fears about trying to form the sentence in a foreign language goes out the window. You are BRAVER!

I am glad you are enjoying your German classes. It is certainly rewarding when it involves fun and beers. :D

Cattiva said...

HAHAHA - too bad you didn't get a recording of THAT conversation!

Cirnelle said...

So, which race can hold the most alcohol? Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian, English, Romanian, French or Malaysian?

Wah... that's a big crowd.

J.T. said...

By they way, totally off topic here... (ignore this if you have this information):

Deutsche Telekom has a toll-free English hotline:

0800 33 01080
Monday to Friday - 8:00am to 5:00pm

They will help you with your needs in English (phew!)

ColourMeCrazy said...

Froggy: Sounds like you’re speaking from experience! ;-)

JT: It’s true. The alcohol makes you stop worrying about whether you’re conjugating correctly or not ;-) And it also makes you “think” you’re speaking really well – even though that might not necessarily be the case!

Catt: Hehe – I wish I had a recording as well! It probably wouldn’t make sense even though everything seemed to make sense at the time!

Cirnelle: Only 3 were left standing I was told – a Korean, a Japanese and a Brazilian!

JT: Hey – thanks for that! That will most definitely come in very very VERY handy!!

anigma said...

Hahah!! The moral of the story is - drink more beer to get the conversation going. Hahahah.

Mine was not exactly Babel - but it was a meeting between me, a classmate and our Japanese teacher.

I tried to converse in my pathetic Japanese and somehow gave up and start speaking to my classmate in Cantonese. Hahah! And of course, to the teacher in mixed Japanese and English.

ColourMeCrazy said...

Anigma: Beer loosens the tongues! hehe! Well, at least everyone was communicating - that's the important part ;-)