Don’t you just hate it when you don’t speak the language?
I know. More than two years in, I ought to have mastered a little bit of French for those trips to Geneva. But I haven’t, other than a few extra odd words. That’s a few extra words, not especially odd ones. I did join Babbel, the online language school, but I had very little discipline, and I found the tasks tedious. It went too quickly in the direction of verbs in the past tense for every kind of person imaginable.
Which doesn’t help with what I want to say, which is ‘no I’m not queueing to use the toilet; just waiting for my friend’ kind of thing. Otherwise I could be preventing people from ‘going’ without intending to.
I do say ‘bon jour’ when entering a shop. The trouble with that is that I apparently bon jour so well that people think they can say anything they like to me after that.
There is also that automatic need for when you bump into a person, or you want them to get out of your way. I am aware I am somewhere that doesn’t use the English pardon or sorry. So I pick some other foreign word, one belonging to a language I don’t [really] speak.
I say ‘undskyld.’
Because Danish is such an obvious choice for apologising in Geneva.
If that was your toe, then undskyld!
Bon jour, merci. Au revoir.