Friday, May 31, 2013

To my new friends: the French Teachers of America—Muchas Gracias!

Thank God for teachers and the French.
I had two sentences in French in my soon to be bestseller and wanted to make sure they were grammatically correct (I don’t speak French, so I used a computer translation program off the internet). I called up Berlitz; I figured they would be happy to help since I had taken a Spanish class there.


“Hi,” I said in what I thought was a cheerful voice. “I wrote a novel and have two sentences in French that I would like to make sure are correct. Would it be possible for me to get in touch with one of your French-speaking teachers? It would only take a minute or two.”

“There is no French teacher here,” the lady­—and I say that generously—said to me in a huffy tone.

“I’m sorry, I thought you would have some French teachers.”

“We do. No one is here.”

“I don’t need to speak to anyone right away. I could email the person.”

“I’ll leave a message,” she said, and took my name and number. And that was the last I heard from Berlitz.  

Screw em. Pimsleur Language is cheaper and comes on CDs.

Next up was Wheaton College. Billy Graham’s alma mater.  The receptionist was very friendly and connected me to the foreign languages department. The call went to voicemail. I couldn’t catch the woman’s name, but she sounded very nice: “Leave a message and I will get back to you. And have a very blessed day.”

Have a very blessed, day. Well, that certainly buoyed my hopes. I left a message with my name and number, and went to my local Starbucks feeling pretty, pretty good.

The Lord works in mysterious ways: Apparently God’s present-day disciple at Wheaton College’s foreign languages department had been a bit sarcastic when telling callers to have a “blessed day.” Excuse me, a “very blessed day.” I should have spoken in tongues when leaving my message. A gossodom ganu orangatanga boob alou shebang dinga dang a roo too doobah. 
Or something to that effect.

Somehow I don’t think that would have worked either.

But thankfully, I found the “American Association of Teachers of French” and sent an email to their staff. Within ten minutes I received a reply that my email had been forwarded to the Director.

The Director—pretty, pretty important. In fact, on the organizational chart there is no one higher. And get this: exactly fifteen minutes later I received a reply. Now I have my French translation solved. Thank you, “American Association of Teachers of French.” Oh, and if you have a beef about teachers or the French, take it somewhere else. You won’t hear any complaints from me.

And one other thing: Have a blessed day.

You may contact the author at: 

No comments:

Post a Comment