Thursday, July 24, 2008

Language complications

I thought we were doing pretty well with taxi driver last night. James and I were managing in baby Bosnian to make him laugh and were happily exchanging vocabulary words. James is Taiwan born but grew up as I did in the Albany area so he is bilingual in English and Chinese but as new to consonant drenched Slavic languages as I. His wife Leia (her mother was a Star Wars fan) is Taiwanese and speaks only halting English and no Bosnian, so she was mostly silent listening. Then we let loose with a string of Chinese.

James interpreted. "She is asking," he said, "if we are having a competition to see who speaks the worst Bosnian."

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