Friday, May 16, 2008

Breaking Language Barriers

We knew then Quentin Westberg speaks French, but with Quentin scheduled to arrive on Saturday, we knew we would have to figure out a way around the language barrier without him. Luckily, Greg Dalby picked up a good amount of French in Southern Belgium playing for SC Charleroi. Says the defender - "Belgium is an interesting country in that in the north they speak Flemish and in the South, French." You learn something every day. Greg was called upon to talk to the bus driver at the airport as we were loading the equipment.

Later that evening, assistant coach Lubos Kubik arrived and helped relieve Greg of his (minimal) translation duties. Lubos picked the language up during a brief stint with French club FC Metz. Sitting at the front of the bus, he's now in charge of helping out with the drivers on the way to training, and with the wait staff in the meal room. For some reason, they didn't know English words like "salami" and "syrup".... we don't mind working with the language barrier though, as long as they keep those baguettes coming. Yumm...

4 comments:

Dan said...

I am pretty sure that they don't speak German in Northern Belgium. Dutch maybe or even Flemish but not German.

Dan said...

Well, proved myself wrong. From Wikipedia -
German is the smallest official language in Belgium, spoken natively by less than 1% of the population, though the 71,000 person population of the German-speaking Community is almost 100% German-speaking. This area of Belgium was taken as part of the Treaty of Versailles with Imperial Germany following World War I, and Nazi Germany re-annexed them during their invasion of Belgium.

Lawrence said...

It would be great to get some pictures of the guys practicing if you all get a chance.

DC Fan said...

The actually speak Flemish and French in Belgium. Flemish is a combination of Dutch (spoken in the Netherlands)and German. Both languages are very similar, which is why the call people Pennslyvania Dutch (even though the settlers were originally German). I used to live in the Netherlands and always got Dutch and German mixed up - throw in the Flemish and it was very confusing at times!