October 4, 2010 by Willy Cardoso
Apparently, it has become common sense that English is THE international language.
I say apparently because we teachers talk a lot about it, but it’s not as simple as that, of course it isn’t.
I was at a bank the other day. More precisely, at a Santander agency, formerly Abbey in the UK, and I had the amusement of overhearing the following exchange.
Customer: Do you speak Spanish?
Clerk: No, I’m sorry, just English.
Customer (dumbfounded): You don’t speak Spanish???
Clerk (patiently): Sorry sir, just English.
Customer (getting carried away): Does anybody in this branch speak Spanish?
Clerk (getting pissed off): No sir, we all speak English.
Customer: This is unacceptable! Santander is a Spanish bank and you here don’t speak Spanish?
Clerk: Sir, I don’t know about Spain, but we’re in England, we speak English.
Customer: But in Spain they also speak English at the branches!
Clerk: They do, but here we speak English. Can I help you with anything?
Customer: Do you exchange money?
Clerk: No sir, we don’t do that.
Customer: No??? … Ok, bye.
I love these little moments in life. They make it look more real.