I couldn’t think of a better title for this post. But a couple of funny instances recently that made me laugh and I thought I should write about. It’s moments like these that make me really love the Vietnamese people.
1. I was speaking with one of our staff members about how the salutation to put on a letter we were going to send to about 200 executives in Saigon. We wanted to make it a personal letter but not spend the mass amount of time writing each persons name on every e-mail.
Me – “How about,,,,, ‘Dear Members, or Dear Esteemed Guests’.”
She thought about it for a minute or two and said,
It kept the office laughing for about 10 minutes.
2. I was working on my laptop in the formal dining area. One of the new young female staff member came over and delicately poured me a glass of water after which she said,
“Please enjoy your water.”
It was really cute and made me smile. As every language learner knows, you learn specific phrases to say in certain situations and therefore anywhere you go, the Vietnamese will always tell you to Enjoy your something or other. Apparently she was not taught that you don’t have to say that when it comes to water.
3. We spent a day doing a lot calling to invite about 200 prospects to one of the clubs events. That means we spoke to a lot of secretaries who had limited English ability.
Most of the recordings would tell you to push the extension number of the person you were trying to reach or press either 1 or 0.
One recording told me to please press the number 10………
It’s understandable that these things happen in English because it’s not their native language. But some funny instances also happen in Vietnamese. My Vietnamese co-worker was asked by a secretary this,
“Do you have a reservation for your telephone call?”
I could see the confused look on his face and when he told the other staff members everyone just burst out laughing.