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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Language Lessons

I was one of the 'lucky few' selected for a weeks intensive Serbo-Croat language training. The teacher was herself a refugee from the conflict who was now making a decent living teaching the British Army.

Phrases I Learnt Which I Thought Might Come In Handy*:

  • Hello, my name is.....
  • British Army, stop or I fire.
  • Put down the weapon.
  • That place is dangerous - it is mined.
Phrases I Learnt Which I Didn't Think Would Come In Handy**:

  • I'd like a double en-suite room please.
  • A table for two.
  • We are ready to order now.
  • Can I have the bill please.
* - Actually I only used the first and last.
** - I hope to get to use some of these in the future.


Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

OK from memory (forgive spelling)

Stani illy putsam -- Stop or I fire

Oposnast (???) minen -- Danger mines

Nai putsii -- Stop Firing

Ja sam SFORum voynik -- I am a SFOR Soldier

Veruci Pas -- Hot Dog

Pivo -- Beer (usually shouted whilst waving fingers at the barman)

5:34 pm  
Anonymous Kath said...

Great post, made me smile! I took 3 years of Spanish in high school, and I swear I can only actually remember the phrases that will probably never do me any good :)

5:36 pm  
Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

Some more I just remembered

Dobra Dan -- Good Day

Dobra Juernier -- Good Afternoon

Zrahvo -- Hello

Lacko Noct -- Good Evening

Kacko Stay -- How are you ?

Kleb -- Bread

5:37 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Eggbanjo - your spelling is a little out but apart from that top marks fella!

Kath - I can order beer in many languages.

5:57 pm  
Blogger SL said...

Amateur! The phrase you are looking for is:

"Can she have the bill, please?"


7:45 pm  
Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

My spelling is way out, spell it how you say it me, not bad considering I was there about 10 years ago

Kath, all soldiers are trained in the art of ordering beer in any language

You simply hold up the appropriate number of fingers (four in the case of the example) and shout


8:19 pm  
Blogger greavsie said...

What's 'Help, I've been forced into a marriage of convenience and I need an annulment before the wife finds out?'

8:43 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Do you manage to retain the phrases once you've moved on?

9:18 pm  
Anonymous Kath said...

ah yes, "una mas cerveza, por favor, Seniorita!"

5:47 am  
Anonymous Kath said...

wow, got an extra letter in Senorita...

5:48 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Greavsie - how did you know about that little incident?

PI - some of it has stuck but not all.

Kath - see you remembered something useful!

6:13 am  
Blogger Elle said...

'... and my friend pays' has always been a very useful addition to any order in any language.

Although pointing at them and running away has helped make that clear as well.

6:35 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Laura - a group of us (pre-army days) did a runner from a curry house once. We got half a mile down the road and found out that someone had paid.

7:21 am  
Anonymous Stu Savory said...

My postillion has been struck by lightning . . .

Hmmm. Think this phrase book is rather old. What's this 'V Reg.'
imprint doing on the flyleaf?

10:51 am  
Blogger Just Jane said...

Croatian keyboards are a bit strange...Y is bottom left and Ž, Č, and Đ all feature.

(How did I do that ehh? :-) )

9:34 pm  
Anonymous Kris said...

"Stani ili putsam! Ya sam Britanski Voynyek!"

ah the phrases come flooding back don't they! I always liked "Volim Te!" (I love you!) which became a staple when talking to those devastatingly beautiful women while drunk on "extortinately for the IFOR soldiers" pivo in the local bars.

anyone remember Rakkia? (shudder)

12:21 pm  
Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

how about a good shot od shlivovitch (sp)

2:51 pm  

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