I want to understand you, I study your obscure language (Alexander Pushkin)

21 Feb 2017 by Paul Saris

I think it’s about time that I say thanks to all of you who patiently endure my use of the English language. 

Using good English but not quite right has had some entertaining effects on people. ‘How goes it now?’ ‘Well pretty good’ was the reply, with a little smile in the corner of his eye. Things were a bit more painful after I worked out that ‘let me take him apart when the time is right’ means something completely different from ‘take him aside’.

In the 25 years I’ve been in New Zealand, I’ve met many guests like myself who’ve come from another place. The French and German variants, South African, Ethiopian, Canadian, Belgium, Italian, Russian, a few from back home, and some whose lingo totally confuses me (is Manchester classified as a country?).

What we all have in common, most of the time anyway, is that we want to be understood. The same goes for our clients. They also, sometimes, speak in what seems like a foreign tongue when meaning inadvertently takes on a different guise. 

On behalf of these clients, I thank you for your patience and understanding (please keep it up).

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