Thursday, 30 June 2011

Jolly Good English

In reply to amber's great post about what not to say in English during an interview to a business school, I thought I'd give you my recent experience.

I recently met a french guy at work and when he realised I was British, he started speaking in English. As I usually do in these situations, I continued to speak French, only to realise that his will was much stronger than mine. I gave in and started replying in English. I had asked for some assistance on something, and he came to my office eager to help. Great I thought. He tells me that his girlfriend is british too ah ha ah ha etc etc. I soon realise that this guy is NOT a normal french guy oo speak Ingleesh like ziss.....no, it appears that this dude had taken the ultimate step. He'd swallowed a dictionary circa 1950. He uses 'jolly good' when I ask him to do xyz..... when he agrees with me he says 'quite'. A 'tally-ho'- wasn't too far out of reach. I could not believe him! I thought he was taking the pee pee, but no, he was deadly serious. My (french) colleague saw this guy today and marvelled at his 'wonderful' British accent. Yeah, right. He's never even been to the UK - so where do you think he got his accent?! Another colleague has met his girlfriend and tells me that her British accent is well, normal. My best guess is that he uses Monty Python and Faulty Towers as his only base to learn English.

The next time I bump into him I'm going to see if he can string a 'moreover, indeed, jolly good' together. Dear lord, his girlfriend better sort him out because I've heard he's going to the UK for the first time in a few weeks. I don't fancy his chances in a pub brawl, unless John Cleese is there.

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