Language Barriers

Friends are arriving this week with a 5 yr old. I was on the bus today and saw a cute little girl.  I wondered how old she was… 4? 5?  I am not good at kids’ ages. I was trying to compare her to the little girl flying over. 

My French is improving. And shop workers are complimenting me often. So I was brave enough to ask.  Politely I said excuse me Madame. I have a question. How old is your little child?

OMG. I guess she was German not French. And she took total offense. I have no idea what she thought I had said.  I spoke quietly.  Politely.  Even smiled.  

She glared at me the rest of the trip.  Even called me something that I think meant stupid Swede.  One time I caught her eye and I looked away and slightly shook my head.  Wondering what the heck was going on?  How and why was I misunderstood? And she told me off.  I just shrugged my shoulders.  Finally we got to her stop and she got off with the little girl and turned and made a parting crack.

It was sad.  I wished I spoke German. I didn’t mean to ruin her day.  But she allowed it to happen.  

Guess I will make sure the person speaks French before I ask anything in the future.  

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2 thoughts on “Language Barriers

  1. Don’t let one rude SOB ruin a minute of your time. You tried to do something nice and she was a jerk. May not have been a language issue just an asshole.

    Ed

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