So I'm assisting a local woman who is managing a huge employee survey. Specifically, she has been subcontracted by a huge Survey company to provide Help Desk service for a survey being conducted by a huge international firm. There are a number of standard, approved messages that address a number of requests/situations, and because the company is international, they have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Japanese, and Chinese.
When we get a messsage in another language and can't figure out what it means, we use an online translator. So far, Chinese provides the most amusing results, such as:
"Hello and greetings for your valiance! Sadly, the word is tired. I am the company dandelion!"
They have misplaced their password, and need it sent to them. Obviously.
While we are sending responses, the woman's voice-over work is also going on, so native speakers of other languages appear to record lines for voice-mail phone trees. So it was recently that I found myself keeping a pair of fraternal twins (yes, it's a theme) occupied for a German woman while she made her recording. When they arrived, the boy asked me in German if he could sit on the porch swing. His mother, in English, told him he had to speak English, so without missing a beat, he asked again in English.
How to feel inferior to a 4-year-old.
I am the company dandelion.