“A man who speaks two languages is worth two men” – it may be famous but it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Communication with foreigners

Imagine this scenario… I’m sitting on a train, my seat is supposed to be 14A but I choose to sit on 14B. It doesn’t particularly bother me where I sit to be honest but 14B was closer so I popped myself down on that. No dramas. Or so I would think…. Someone sitting across from me has clearly taken umbrage at the fact I’m not sitting on my officially allocated seat yet due to our language barrier I’m not entirely sure why he’s shouting and waving his fist at me like a grumpy old man.


Queue the savior.. Our bilingual friend steps in. Naturally I’m delighted that we can resolve this issue in a heartbeat now communication is clearly no longer a problem. I tell him that I chose this seat because it was closer, I’d like to continue to sit here but if it’s a real problem then of course I’d be happy to move. Then the most baffling thing occurs. My sentence took maybe 8 seconds at most. Why oh why then does our bilingual friend and my new found enemy have to talk for the next 15 minutes? A full blow conversation, one speaks then the other, then the first one again. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING YOU RETARDS??


Listen, stop f*cking talking for 10 seconds, translate this – “I know it’s not my bloody seat, but I’d like to sit here. If that’s genuinely an issue I’ll move, if you don’t mind then I’ll stay – ok?!”. Another 10 minute conversation ensues. OH MY GOD, WHAT CAN U LITERALLY BE TALKING ABOUT FOR THAT LONG?! Anyway, it’s not the seat that’s the issue. That was soon resolved. It infuriates me the lack of efficiency in communication when I’m in other countries. Me asking someone to ask the conductor what time the next train is causes yet another 10 minute conversation. I asked one f*cking question! It should require one answer, yet I’m stuck there looking like a lemon wondering what the hell they’re talking about. Grrrrr.

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