There was much hilarity in our hotel room last night. Going back a bit, for a good while I played with the idea of becoming a translator/interpreter. But it was quite a hard job to get into, what with lots of people having the same language pair and my reluctance to do yet another qualification on top of my endless studies. So I tried to set up my own little business but never got the clients to make it worthwhile. I tried, did the business plan and realised that I'd be better off financially with another career, probably enjoy that other career more, and wouldn't have to do the marketing which is not something I particularly enjoy. And no, I never thought I wasn't good enough especially when we had to have an interpreter at our wedding (in case hubby didn't understand what he was letting himself in for this was a requirement) and I cringed rather a lot during the ceremony.
I was right about my career choice. I have no regrets.
Just sometimes, I feel that maybe there aren't enough translators about to make sure gross embarrassment is avoided. And I'm generally a helpful person and hate to see people look rather foolish. Here I am, in a German hotel which is part of a well known international chain which I think is American owned. Germany is a country where really everyone has a decent command of English, and I don't see how anyone could work in hospitality without being able to speak English fluently. The information booklet provided by the hotel is both in German and in English. I have a strange feeling they wanted to give me a good laugh and test my pregnancy pelvic floor function when they came up with the English translation. I can't but share some of the highlights - and I'm not sure if I should suggest to them to invest in a trained translator maybe for the benefit of their English speaking guests?
My rates are reasonable by the way.
"You like to get adapter, travel adapter plug or extension cord at the reception"
"Trains to the airport leave from the Munich main station. For a concrete schedule please ask at the reception desk" (I have visions of the ten commandments written in stone)
"You can borrow a bath robe for your sauna visit at the reception desk. We lend you a pledge for this made of beechwood" (sounds interesting, I'm tempted to use the sauna just to see that pledge made of beechwood... Thankfully I checked the German and it's about paying a deposit for the loan of a bath robe - not beeches were harmed in the transaction you'll be glad to know)
"in the case of fire doors and window closed regards immediately see notice, the building at the doors over stairs and escape routes deserted fire extinguishers be in every floor as escape plan" (umph, I hope there won't be a case of fire because I'm not all that sure what to do. Fortunately, "Emergency Exits are marked on the plan suspended on your room door" and you have to "Read the emergency plan in your room at the door" and in no other location!)
"City map: get with pleasure free of cost at the reception" (easy pleasure!)
"You can use the dryer daily from 7am to 10pm be due against."
"We like to send your faxes for you; per page we calculate euros 0, 30"
"Lost and Found will be escrowed at the housekeeping"
"Everybody make an analogous modem attachment extension cord is available on the reception" (Goody)
"Pay TV: You have Pay TV channels in your room at the disposal. Feels after petition of the room number and push the OK. We charges you Euro 13,90." (hm, a bit touchy feeling before watching more of it???)
"In the restaurant you have also the possibility watching different sports events with our flat TV"
"Our Housekeeping is glad to help you at a ragged button or loose hem"
"You have the possibility in every room of using the Internet free of cost. Open your Internet Explorer which conducts you on the initial page automatically. Select the 'Free' entrance there, please. A problem should be able appear you the hotline: our reception helpful or with pleasure also is it for them contact." (if their English is equally bad, I doubt their helpfulness. It also doesn't help that the page is in German and the word "Free" is not there at all, so even a guessing game will go pear shaped)
Thankfully, if internet access on the room fails, "among us you have the possibility in the lobby of using the Internet free of cost in our business room."
Of course, there is a "questionnaire in each room. Please tell us what you think about us, what you liked particularly or what could be improved". Maybe someone should suggest using a translator? But where would be the fun of a night spent giggling uncontrollably be?