Monday, 17 December 2012

Z ticks boxes

The speech has been delivered, having been written last week, rewritten last night and again this morning.  I might just as well have left it to the deadline and got it right first time.

I had to open an account with German Amazon today, to send a present from Elle to her father.  It's a long story and let's not bother with it.  I thought I could bluff my way through reading a number of languages - well no, I can, just not German. Or Dutch or Flemish come to that, and I think I detect a linguistic theme.  I remember visiting Weeza when she was working in Brussels and we went out for dinner and I couldn't read the menu at all.  I had rather expected it to be written in at least two languages but it was only in Flemish and I couldn't decipher anything to speak of.  Well, to speak of, blimey, I wasn't going to even try to pronounce any of it.  I pointed and hoped I wasn't ordering horse.  It was very nice actually and not a bit horsey.

Anyway, I had great difficulty in getting started because, although I was able to work out that I needed to fill in my name, address and phone number, I couldn't quite cope with my country.  Look, how was I to guess the German for United Kingdom?  You may know it's Vereinigtes Königreich but I saw no clue in the name at all at the time, although now, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems quite a bit more obvious.   And then I had to work out how to put in another delivery address from my own.  I got quite agitated.  By the time it was finally done, I had little time to scuttle upstairs and put on the Smart yet Appropriate Frock for the Prizegiving, and it was a jolly good job I'd already printed out the speech and put it in my handbag, or I'd have had to ad lib. I'm slightly concerned that I might have signed up for a trial of Amazon Prime in German, but I hope not.  I'll ask Elle to check it out when I see her.

I seem to have done most of my Christmas shopping, almost without noticing.  I spent five minutes in a shop in the town and cleared up the last three people - well, apart from the Sage and he's impossible so doesn't count.  There are only three options for him: clothes, china or vesta cases.  I've given him china for the last two years and I think I'll buy him a new coat.  He doesn't wear enough and it makes me feel cold.

5 comments:

mig said...

Chrome automatically offers a translation if a web page isn't in English. Mind you, the translation is sometimes harder to understand than the foreign and I'd be terrified of setting up an account in case I got it wrong. Very daring of you!

Sarah said...

Couldn't you have used an English account and shipped to Germany?

Z said...

I did resort to Bing translate at one point but it didn't make a lot of sense, Mig.

You'd think, wouldn't you, Sarah? i tried that first, but the company supplying it wouldn't ship abroad.

Roses said...

I can muddle by in spoken German, no idea about it written. I understand more than I speak...probably 1 in 6 words. Which is an improvement, I suppose.

I've got a few more bits and pieces to get and then I am done!

John Greenwood said...

Christmas? What's that?