Monday, December 4, 2006
High Praise from Someone Who Should Know.
Mr. French dialed the number for a publisher in Geneva and hoped someone would answer. He had tried calling this number several times before, with no answer.
"Bonjour!" he said quickly when he heard the phone picked up.
"Hello." A woman answered.
"Hallo!" he answered, switching to the French way of answering the phone. "I'm calling from France. I was looking for your hours of operation so I can browse and buy your books."
"I think you have the wrong number. You've reached ABC Bank."
"Oh, I'm looking for XYZ booksellers. What is the number there?"
"The phone number here is 333.222.4444."
"Oh." said Mr. French confused. "You said 126.96.36.199.44? I thought I dialed that number."
"Maybe you did dial the number correctly, but is it the right number for the bookstore? Maybe you could check online?" She suggested helpfully.
"Hmm. Okay. Thank you for all your help."
"And by the way, your English is very good."
And Mr. French said the only thing that came to him.
It was only after he had a good laugh that he realized his mistake. He had dialed the country code 001, which is for the US.
I wonder if the American he was talking to is now blogging about how amazingly bilingual the French are.