Immersion in Burbank

I was just hit with a real life test… and failed miserably.  Sitting in my Burbank office, I just received a call from a man who only spoke Italian.  For a fleeting moment, I thought this might be fun.  I can do this.  Yeah, not so much.  My sparse Italian decided to jump from my brain and I was actually at a loss of words, even English ones.  Though I learned halfway through the conversation he could have spoken Polish too if that would’ve worked.

Why was he calling me? Apparently he was looking for the President of Warner Bros.  Though I may be on the Warner Bros Lot, il presidente is definitely not in my office.  And frankly, not sure if he speaks Italian either. I just kept saying I’m sorry, I don’t know, this is the wrong number… did I mention, non parlo molto italiano?

I am still stunned at my lack of ability to communicate with that man.  A little shamed, I must say.  It has almost been a year since my trip to Italy, which made me feel pretty confident with at least getting by with my Italian.  I believe this mystery man appreciated that I knew enough to tell him I didn’t understand and that I was sorry.  Frustrated that I couldn’t use my hands to communicate, and both of us realizing the conversation was going absolutely no where, we quickly ended with a “ci vediamo”… though I don’t think we’ll actually be seeing each other later.

To quote my unknown Italian caller – “O mamma mia!”

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1 Comment

Filed under Learn Italian

One response to “Immersion in Burbank

  1. Aw, don’t feel bad! I’m convinced talking on the phone is the hardest thing to do in another language. You can’t see the person or use gestures to get your point across, and it’s just freaking awkward.

    I got so frustrated when I was living in France, trying to fight with the phone company about installing my line. I wanted to express my wrath with biting remarks, but the best I could muster was, “I don’t understand. I have to wait for three weeks? That is stupid!”

    You’ll get another opportunity to practice soon, and I’m sure it’ll go much more smoothly.

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