Category: Language Differences

Translating Two Languages

In 1998 we had just hired LaNette as our third Paisley employee and were working on customizing our AutoAudit software for Novartis, a large pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. LaNette knew other programming languages but had not worked with…

Pork Something???

Our first customer in Luxembourg was the State Savings Bank of Luxembourg.  It is known by several names, including the French tongue-twister: Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat. BCEE is the acronym often used in business correspondence.  It also has…

Ausfahrt

There is a common word in German that I found amusing.  After I got to know my German key contacts well enough, I finally asked them about it.  There are road signs all over that say “Ausfahrt” – it doesn’t seem…

Stupendous

It was always a fun experience to talk with people whose first language was something other than English and trade idioms and slang. When I went to dinner with three locals in Germany, I looked over the English menu and…

You Are So Munchy!

Tim & I were having dinner in Minnesota with our key contacts from the Arthur Andersen office in Mexico City when Tim asked if their hotel accommodations were OK.  They answered yes, the hotel was fine, but they were very surprised…

Smoke Free

Paisley worked closely with the Arthur Andersen office in Mexico City to develop a Spanish translated version of our AutoAudit software and training materials. The people that we worked with spoke English very well, but sometimes things didn’t translate exactly…

100 Percent

I travelled to Stuttgart, Germany, to meet with the German half of the Daimler-Chrysler audit department.  The head of audit spoke English well but admitted that he wasn’t fluent and was practicing with me.  We had a sit-down discussion in…