Article from July 2013
Hâbler Espagnol? Nada. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Non. Netherlandis ? No. Parler Français ? Oui ! Speak English ? Yes !
All the languages I hear throughout the day. It’s incredible to see so many cultures gathered in such little square footage. However, in these very moments I realize how inferior my two language skills are to those who speak, 3, or 4 languages. My French and English get me by just fine, but when I get a German client who speaks neither I have to call over a colleague and there I stand completely unaware of a word they’re saying. I had just finally started feeling less foreign in France, getting the language down and all, but then in all of 30 seconds I feel completely out of place again. Motivation to learn a new language has increased enormously.
The thing that makes me feel much better is when clients think I’m French and are surprised at how good my English is. I then tell them I’m American and the ‘ohhhh’ look sweeps over their face.