When Life Goes According to the Book

The commute to the office this morning ended somewhat badly…


Yep, that’s steam coming out, and if you look closely you can see the gusher of radiator fluid. It called to mind a mash-up of the unintentionally hilarious A-LM dialogs in German class lo those many years ago:

Jochen, wo ist der Autobus?
  Hallo, Peter, es ist in die Garage. Wir warten auf eine andere.
Möchst du zu meinem Haus kommen, um Musik zu hören? 
  Nein, danke. Ich muss studieren.

Fortunately, the bus did make it up the final hill before our stop, so it wasn’t too big a deal, and then, a remarkable thing happened. We’ve been using Pimsleur’s material to try to become bad Hungarian speakers instead of hopeless ones, and climbing the stairs I said hello to one of our Hungarian staff, and unleashed lesson two:

“Jó napot kívánok. Szép idő van ma. ” (“Good day to you. Nice weather, eh?.” — literally, “Good day I wish you. Nice weather we are having today.”)

He replied, “Igen. Nagyon szép .” (“Yes. Very nice.”)

Which was the scripted response verbatim from the Pimsleur tape. Granted, there really aren’t a lot of conversational options from that blindingly banal opener, but I was so stunned that it actually worked I ran down the hall to my office before I could ruin the moment. Maybe next week I’ll graduate to asking him if he wants to come to my house to listen to music.

Or maybe not.



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