Monday, September 29, 2014

Another pretty picture

This is Basel. We were standing on the bridge over the Rhine, generally admiring the scene and particularly admiring the tiles on the church roof, when we noticed some people swimming. 

Can you see them? Little heads bobbing about in this fast-flowing river which has big ships forging their way up it? This - presumably - very cold river?

We were surprised.

The Swiss are amazing linguists, which is just as well because if you've ever heard Swiss German, you'll know that it doesn't sound anything like the German one learnt at school. And then in some places the language is French (fairly normal-sounding French) or, occasionally, Rumantsch. So I'm in awe of the ability of everyone - from the ticket collectors to the chaps selling you a sandwich - to speak good English.

Well, almost everyone. Maybe not the person who wrote this for one of our hotels:

Welcome at the hotel Holiday. You are our guest! About you is going everything. The whole year. See the region of the Lake Thun in all its beauty, enrich cultural or just enjoy. Because we know, the most beautiful moments results not by random.

It is possible for the washing and ironing of the guest laundry.

Little sew we finish off patching's within 24 hours - price after expense.

I'm not really criticising this person because his/her English is about as good as my German. (I may be flattering myself.) But if I were going to write a notice in German and put it in every hotel room, I think I might just get someone to check it.


  1. Rather them than me.......I bet that water is never ~quite~ warm! Love the 'English as she is not quite spoke' in that notice.

  2. A pretty picture, indeed....When we were in Budapest for a year on an international research exchange the secretary of the dept. where Paul was working wrote a dreadful (in terms of normal English usage) notice for a conference coming up. Paul offered to help her with it, but she was sure she knew better than he did. I think it is sometimes a strange matter of pride.

    I should think all those swimmers died of hypothermia shortly after you took that photo.

  3. I laughed more at Jennifer's comment about "English as she is not quite spoke" than at the mangled notice.....Love that first picture.
    When we lived in Germany and our children got up in the dark to go to swim team practice before school, elderly Germans also came to the pool, in the dark, sometimes in their robes and slippers, to have their morning swim in cold water. Made the Americans look like a bunch of pansies!

  4. Gorgeous first photo! A bit worried about the swimmers, though - I don't think the operators of large vessels would be able to see them, would they?

  5. And I laughed the most at Molly's comment about the Americans looking like a bunch of pansies in comparison to the Germans - grin!!!

    Love the notice in fractured English; I had a book somewhere with a lot of those notices from around the world. Much giggle material in there!

  6. How stunning, both pictures 1 and 2. I like a spot of outdoor swimming but would draw the line at that, however bluey green and beautiful the water!! L xx

  7. When I travelled to Italy many years ago I watched as an Italian railway official berated an elderly Swiss man for his inability to communicate: "but the Swiss speak 5 languages, you must be able to understand me!"

    I smile enjoying your tales of Switzerland. An Aunt introduced me to the term "Chinglish" which is poorly worded English on signs in China. So maybe your note was Swisslish?

  8. I'm thinking of adopting
    "Little sew we finish off patching's within 24 hours "
    as my 2015's New Year Resolution .