Thursday, July 10, 2008

The others. (On foreign accents. A rant)

But, there is this discussion I had yesterday :

Man (strong accent) “Do you offer services in Spanish”
Me (not so strong accent).”I am sorry sir; we are not accredited to provide this service in Spanish. I could…”
Man: I gut this guy and he speaks Spanish, no English. So we like to get this (service) in Spanish.
Me: Unfortunately, we cannot provide this service in Spanish.
Man (irate): You speak Spanish. Why tell me that you do not offer any service in Spanish.
Me (perplexed): I do not speak Spanish, I am sorry but…
Man (angry, crescendo). You speak bad English. Why do you say you speak no Spanish?
Me (insulted): I think my English is quite good actually. And I do not speak Spanish.
(I take some pride in my spoken English. It might not be “good” in the literary sense, but I learned to use local idioms and slang and I can make myself understood.)
Man (inquisitive, strong) : What language do you speak?
Me (crossed): Not Spanish.( thinking ”none of your business”)
Man: ( yelling) You have to speak Spanish.
Me(not understanding why I have to speak Spanish): Sir, if you want a reference for an agency that provides the same service in Spanish…
Man: (hangs up phone)

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