Tuesday, July 05, 2005

[Skip the French]


Si New Zealand est un endroit merveilleux, pourquoi êtes vous ici?"

Jour mauvais. Je ne disais pas ça, mais cette fille est ennuyeux (et forte). Nous étions donnés son avis sur la position des garages par rapport aux maisons, la signification des feux de circulation, les mérites de systèmes différents de signage de la route, le fait que la Nouvelle Zélande a une grande industrie de la foresterie, ainsi la plupart des bâtiments sont faits de bois, bien que certains soient de brique, et dans la Nouvelle Zélande ils ont les briques de couleurs différentes, et Tout n'est pas les briques rouges et les carreaux rouges, et comment tout est mieux conçu en Nouvelle Zélande, et ils ont la Foule Métisse, que est comme les indigènes, mais pas, et la Nouvelle Zélande a les araignées vraiment effrayantes, et il n'y a pas aucun point en s'inquiétant aux serpents ou les araignées ici parce qu'aucun d'eux n'est dangereux, et en Australie ils ont les araignées qui manger de l'oiseau, que est tres rigolo, et l'île du nord est vraiment jolie et l'île du sud est trop mais dans une manière différente, et l'île du nord est un bon endroit à vivre, mais elle ne voudrait pas vivre dans la majeure partie de l'île, et Auckland est un cloaque, mais c'est comme la Londres de la Nouvelle Zélande, qu'est cool, et le Seigneur des Anneaux était conneries, mais il était bon pour le tourisme, mais cela a incité plus de personnes à venir, et ils sont les touristes, et parfois il pleut pour deux semaines, mais il fait chaud, mais il fait froid et il ne pleut pas toujours, mais il pleut.

Comme quelqu'un a observé, après que nous étions partis de la salle, mais nous elle-ecoutions encore "il n'est pas comme quelqu'un a demandé."

En fait je pense que la dernière question qu'elle demandé était "café?" (et il n'est pas comme café en la Nouvelle Zélande ils faisents a des ailes de la chauve-souris roulées en crottes de lapin, qui est bon, mais on ne boit pas parceque on commence le travail plus tôt, parceque en la Nouvelle Zélande personnes travaillent une semaine de quarant heures, parceque pas de personne fait ralentissement comme ici, mais on obtient beaucoup des pauses et un déjeuner plus longue, et quelques personnes travaillent une semaine de quarant-deux heures).

J'ai passé le jour essayant de ne pas faire des commentaires exprimant la surprise au fait qu'en Nouvelle Zélande ils ont les voitures ("Ooh-la-la, avec les roues et tout? N'êtes pas vous intelligent!").

[I've no idea if that last bit makes sense, as I've had enough of trying to translate things into French, mostly because it's taking far too long. So I'm stopping now before I just Babelfish the entire thing. If you'd like to skip the English version and see the rest of the post then your wish is my command].

If New Zealand's such a wonderful place, why are you here?"

Bad day. I didn't actually say that, but this girl is wearing (and loud). We were greeted to her opinion on the position of garages in relation to houses, the meaning of traffic lights, the merits of different road signs systems, the fact that New Zealand has a large forestry industry, and so most buildings are made of wood, although some are of brick, and in New Zealand they have different colour brick, and it's not all just red tiles and red brick, and how everything is much better designed in New Zealand, and they have the Mongrel Mob, which is like the natives, but not, and New Zealand has really scary spiders, and there's no point in worrying about snakes or spiders here because none of them are dangerous, and in Australia they have bird eating spiders, which is really odd, and North Island's really pretty and South Island is too but in a different way, and the North Island's a great place to live, but she wouldn't want to live in most of it, and Auckland's a dump, but it's like the London of New Zealand, which is cool, and Lord of the Rings was a crock, but it was good for tourism, but that made more people come, and they're tourists, and sometimes it rains for two weeks, but it's hot, but it's cold and it doesn't always rain, but it does rain.

As someone else observed, after we left the room, and yet were still able to hear her "it's not as if anyone asked."

Actually I think the last question she'd been asked was "Coffee?" (and it's not like coffee in New Zealand where they make it from bat wings rolled in rabbit droppings, which is great, but you don't have to drink it because you start work earlier, because in New Zealand people work a 40 hour week, because no one slacks like here, but you get lots of breaks and a long lunch included and some people even work a 42 hour week).

I've spent the day trying not to make snide comments expressing surprise at the fact that in New Zealand they have cars (Wow, with wheels and everything? Aren't you clever!").

In other news, and before I start wondering how many HMS Nottingham's it would take to completely demolish anything above sea level in that part of the world, I had an email today. It went a little something like this:
From : [Name 1]
Sent : 05 July 2005 14:50:15
To : [anyhoo]
Subject : Le Jouette
Dear Sir,

I would like to know please the whereabouts of Le Jouette Village. Could you please help me?

Thankyou very much for your time,
[Name 2].
You will of course note the useful reference as to what the devil it is that she is talking about. Le Jouette... Oh, yes, that April Fools thing.

So, how exactly should I break it too her that there's no such place, and unless she wants her name to be forever linked with somewhere that smelly a bit fishy, she'd better just accept that her surname is yet another variation on [cluster of similar surnames].

And why is it that whenever I receive a bit of mail with slightly odd sounding sentence structure (where would you put the "Please"s?), I invariably assume it's junkmail, and unless I want to start giving freelance English lessons to random Nigerians, I should probably ignore it.

The mismatch between the email address and the name used in the email also trips various alarms. Except if she really is trying to look up her ancestors, and is using one of her children's email accounts, and hasn't quite got enough internet experience to not rank a blog alongside the Encyclopaedia Britannica (overpriced and not that good), or notice that something posted on 1/4 might be an April Fool, then I probably ought to do the

And the "Dear Sir" worries me (and should the Sir be capitalised?). Am I really the type of person one addresses as Sir? Just the phrase "Dear sir" immediately says the author either doesn't care about finding a name to use, or simply doesn't care about the owner of the name. Even "Dear householder" suggests the author researched enough to think that it was a residential building (although when then send it to a sailing club...). Anyway, it's an email. Either skip the felicitations, or use the only moniker you have for the recipient, or start of with the boring "Hi" or disturbing "Howdy-doody!"

But I'm forgetting what the rest of the message suggests. And I've also just realised I've got to translate this into French.


[Edit: 13th September 2006. Names removed from email following protest by the original author. The unfinished paragraph was unfinished in the original].

Glad to see the White Band on your blog. Hope it's cool I give you a link on mine... Merci.
Persönlich finde ich "Make Africa Affluent" viel besser als "Make Poverty History", mais, je suis un Anglo-Saxone sans coeur, and definetly not to be trusted. Oh it's probably best to stop this foreign nonsense now, after all; buen principio, la mitad es hecha.....
No fair.

The rules (as just invented par moi) clearly state that no more than two languages can be used at a time (unless I happen to know them, which as I only know one and a bit is probably somewhat unlikely).

I can get the good idea bit, but after that je ne sais pas.
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