Daily Prompt: Conversant

Swiss Court near Leicester Square, London

“Next please. Name?”

“Mrs. Angloswiss.”

“Language speciality?”

“Oh, specialities.”

“You speak more than one foreign language? That is very good, as for a position in our international business conferences, we are dependent on those possessing knowledge of two languages fluently at least. What are your languages?”

“Cockney and Solothurn German.”

“Oh, I see, yes, something exotic.”

“Yer. sort of. I got the cockney from mum and dad, we didn’t know anyfing else. We all dropped our ‘aches when we spoke and used our double negatives, like “I ain’t got nuffing” meaning we got something of course. Yea, we ‘ave quite a bit of confusion in cockney, all the more to get someone in your mob to put fings straight.”

“Oh, I see. And the Solothurn german?”

“Got that from me old man, like ‘im being Swiss and all that.”

“I thought the Swiss spoke either French, German or Italian.”

“Ja, we do but in our on way. Gruezi, as we say in Zürich or Gruessech as we say in Solothurn. It all means hello according to where you come from. We have 26 Kantons and in the Kantons we have towns and villages that speak in their own way. No problem. Amounts to over a hundred Swiss dialects evenetually and we don’t always understnd each other.”

“Yes well, it seems that international conferences are not based on cockney or Swiss German, Some confusion would arise. Now if you spoke Oxford english or perhaps pure german, you might have  a chance.”

“Oh, I see. I can also speak double dutch.”

“Why didn’t you say so straight away. That is the international language of politics now spoken. No-one understands each other at the conference table. They all rattle on in their own versions, interpreting the meanings of the words in their own way. And it is important, for the sake of peace in the world, that we all understand each other. You have the job, I can see that you will make your way in our international community.”

“When can I start?”

“Right away, our Arab visitors are just taking their places.”

“I don’t speak arabic.”

“No problem, neither do they really. Their dialects are so different, they have never understood what they are saying to each other.”

“You mean I could even try my Walliser deutsch.”

“Of course, the more confusion  the better. It is our aim to bring peace to the world.”

Daily Prompt: Conversant

12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Conversant

  1. Love this, Mrs AS
    One of our five Pueblo Indian languages here in New Mexico is Keres, and the greeting, a sort of Hello, is Guaazi, not a million miles from the Zurich Greuzi! And the ‘How’ of movies is, in fact, Lakota Sioux, though often spoken by Navajo actors pretending to be Sioux. I love language!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand nearly all the hundreds of various swiss dialects. I spoke more Zurich dialect when I arrived in Switzerland, but moved to Solothurn where I have been for the past 50 years and now speak that dialect which is near to Bernese German dialect.

      Liked by 1 person

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