19.9.08

accidental linguistic hi-jinks

OK partly it's exhaustion and partly it's the slight embarrassment factor (y'all can ask Dean someday how exponentially harder I laugh when embarrassment feeds into anything) but this was pretty funny in its own right...

We are going thru Peer Evals which is how people get rehired from year to year. Tenured faculty on the PE committee contact all of us non-ten's to see when they can come observe our classes as part of our PE file-filling procedures.

So tenured prof Jeff wrote me last week and we figured out when he'll come visit one of my 202s. I knew him from our intro faculty meeting back in August. Someone had pointed him out to me as part of the Spanish section. On his last email confirming our day/time, he wrote in French. I thought, "Oh that's nice of him to write in 'my' language, I'll write him back in his." I wrote back in Spanish to which he responded in Spanish and then switched to French and quoted something from Rimbaud about things which make your head go round and round. I didn't really latch onto how that quote applied plus since I have long since forgotten most of my grad. school lit. stuff, I didn't even remember it was Rimbaud to be honest, and wrote back to Jeff in Spanish asking who said it. Two more nonsensical academic cleverness emails followed, where I continued in Spanish and Jeff stayed mostly in French...

Then just now when I got back from my last class (before the one I'm about to be late to :) there was another email from Jeff:

Me again. It dawned on me today that you might think I teach Spanish. I teach German and Russian, but I know some French because I'm Canadian...

I immediately started howling with laughter, much to the amazement of my officemates... Slightly embarrassed (me, that is) but mostly thinking how fun it would be to start a trend of writing to people in random languages with which they are only a bit more than slightly familiar.

3 commentaires:

Jessica a dit…

Well you can write to me in German, but if you write to me in Mandarin, I'll have problems - I can't read it at all!

:)

Adrienne a dit…

Który jest po prostu (dopiero co) pomylony! lubię wiele języki

Applecart T. a dit…

holy babel!

it's like a mean trick almost. wow.

i know he's prob. a nerdy brainman (i envy anyone who can get past the "yes, i understand you, but i can't reply" stage in subsequent-to-native languages, so that's a compliment) and was just trying to impress and be sweet and communicate what you know, but oh, the waiting-ness in letting you know he's a "mere" teacher of russian (AND german) and a lucky-ass canadian to boot!

darn those quadrolinguals!