A colleague of mine is buying a second hand car online and he needs every now and then some help from me because the owner is Italian and he doesn’t speak any other language. On Wednesday I called this guy for the first time:
Me: Hi, I’m calling on behalf of my Dutch colleague who doesn’t speak Italian but is interested in your car.
Guy: Oh! Your Italian is excellent.
Me: Well, I’m Italian myself.
Guy: Mmm, then… Let me be honest: your Italian sucks. You have a German accent.
WTF?! Later I spoke with one of my favorite Italian business contacts and I told her about my language difficulties:
Me: Do you think my Italian sucks?
Her: No way! Don’t let yourself tell something like that! Your Italian is very good! You just have a German accent and sometimes you’re not that fluent…
Thanks! I didn’t find any comfort in those words 😕 Anyway, the Italian guy I talked to is as old as me, he owns a couple of Porsche and he’s selling one of them for as little as € 40.000 because, you know, he didn’t use it very often nowadays. Poor boy! And he’s so verbose! Any time I call him he tells me his whole life… So boring. I hope the transaction will be closed as soon as possible because also my colleague is becoming a bit annoying (he’s stroking his pc display on which he put a picture of that car):
Colleague: I need to learn Italian to talk to my car.
Me: Porsche is German.
Colleague: But it grew up in Italy. Italian education.
Me: Good luck, then.