Show offs

I was at dinner, and I was enjoying my pizza and my red wine and a smoke after dinner, when I heard this American guy at the next table talking for ages about the complexity of translating different languages and how some translate easily and others don’t. He was preaching to a couple of guys who were Vietnamese although maybe one was Singaporean about the difference between translating English to Italian, French, Vietnamese and Japanese and he was just going on and on and something about him really annoyed me. Perhaps the way he thought he was educating these “ignorant Asians” on worldly concepts like language.

Anyway, as I finished, I got up, and during a brief pause in his conversation, I asked:

“Nihongo wo hanashimasu desu ka ?”

*blank look*

“Lei Parla L’Italiano ?”

*blank look*

“Parlez-vous français ?”

*vague comprehension*

“Bạn có nói tiếng Việt ?”

At this point, the Vietnamese guys all cracked up laughing. He shook his head dumbly and pointed to himself and said “American”. I just smiled and said “Yes, but I overheard you discussing the complexity of translating Japanese, Italian, and Vietnamese, so I sort of figured you must speak at least a little of those languages, which is why I just asked you if you could speak Japanese, Italian, French and Vietnamese, but I’m sorry. I thought you would understand me. Have a nice time in Vietnam, good night”.

His Vietnamese friend just sat there basically doubled over trying to suppress his laughter. I quietly walked out while the dumb American sat there looking confused and unsure what had just happened.

Don’t you hate people who think that knowing the URL to Google Translate makes them suddenly think they can speak any language on Earth ? Seriously, he wants to talk about the nuances of Japanese language and when I politely ask him if she speaks Nihongo, IN Japanese, he has not the slightest fucking clue what I’m saying, and I’ve been told my Japanese accent really isn’t too bad.

I know it was a bit of a mean thing to make fun of him like that. To be honest I thought he might have spoken at least one of the languages, because he was harping on about different countries all night long, but he failed at simple greetings in any of the languages he was pretending to be an expert at.

What a douche. I bet he failed to impress those guys he was having dinner with, that’s for sure.

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