Sunday, September 7, 2008

English is risky

Amir runs a coffee shop, many customers are Chinese tourists, but his waiter, Rajiv, has problems getting their orders right.


Amir: Fourth time this week. Customer says you brought him an espresso when he asked for a latte.

Rajiv: Customer changed his mind. First he says espresso, then he says mocha, then he says espresso. When I bring it he says latte.

Amir: I know. Changes. But you have to write down and show them what you write. Double check.

Rajiv: And if they can’t read?

Amir: But you can read. Anyway, English has many risks. Cover yourself.



Communication between to speakers of different languages, in a third language, holds many possibilities for misunderstanding.

To reduce the risks of misunderstanding, you need to be doubly alert, and double the double checks.

Check the body language, listen to pronunciation, repeat vocabulary and rephrase grammar.


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