Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oui Mec!

I took a week off from my French lessons but was lucky enough to have a surprise chance to interact with French speakers in Genève, Switzerland. I tagged along on a drive that took six hours round-trip for a meeting that didn't quite last as long as our coffee stops.

The meeting was a tour of the company in French and English. There wasn't much for me to do but smile and nod, "oui":

Oui, I understood a French word you said about 3 sentences ago
Oui, I understand your English very well
Oui, très bien- fantastic work!

It was all really quite impressive. Especially since the company representatives continued to speak in French to me, too despite the fact that I was basically monosyllabic and repetitive in French. No doubt I was a "yes-man" of sorts that day: weak in my French and totally agreeable to whatever was being said. But not all bèni-oui-oui are like that!

Photo: Wooden totem poles representing gods who supposedly live in the big shrine tree.
Seen at the Korean Folk Village à Suwon en Corée, en octobre 2003

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