Julie is an attractive, confident woman at the peak of her career. Originally from London, the political and financial center of the UK, she now works in an information management company in Taipei.
One day she shared a story with Eason, another brilliant mind in the company, on the importance of languages.
“I used to attend protests and make speeches in London’s Trafalgar Square,” Julie said. “But one night, as I headed home after delivering a rather mediocre speech on taxation policy, I saw a man who appeared to be arguing with a police officer.
Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hackett
“So I approached them and tried to find out what was going on. It turned out that they were not arguing, as the man obviously could not speak a word of English. The officer, who spoke only English, was at a loss.
“Fortunately, I am multilingual, and I felt compelled to offer some help, so I began speaking in French. However, it was as if I had spoken Greek to him, which I absolutely could not have done even if I had wanted to. So I tried German instead, and failed miserably. Then I decided that maybe Spanish could be the solution. Sadly, it wasn’t, and neither was Italian. Everybody was frustrated.
“Before I gave up, it occurred to me that maybe I should try the language that I was least capable of speaking — Russian. After I uttered a couple of Russian words, without even finishing a sentence, the man responded with joyful tears in his eyes. It turned out that he was Polish, traveling in London that night with some Polish friends, who were going to take him to see another Polish friend, but somehow they got separated in Trafalgar Square. So he tried to get the police to help him, which the policeman failed to do, and then I showed up.
“Although the Polish man’s Russian was also far from fluent, we understood each other well enough for me to help him find his companions.”
“Fantastic story, Julie,” said Eason. “But please, one more time. And this time in Russian.”
(Written by Ethan Zhan)
1. mediocre adj.
差強人意(cha1 qiang2 ren2 yi4)
例: What do you mean that I am a mediocre lover?
2. at a loss phr.
不知所措(bu4 zhi1 suo3 cuo4)
例: After they had a terrible fight, he was completely at a loss.
3. companion n.
同伴；夥伴 (tong2 ban4; huo3 ban4)
例: “Do you think that it’s our destiny to be each other’s best companion?”
In the eastern Afghan city of Herat, 18-year-old high school student Somaya Faruqi adjusts a suction cap as she puts the finishing touches before unveiling a low-cost, lightweight ventilator created by her and six other young women. The all-female Afghan Robotics Team, which has won international awards for its robots, started work in March on an open-source, low-cost ventilator as the coronavirus pandemic hit the war-torn nation. It took the team almost four months to finalize the ventilator, which is partly based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) design, and they received guidance from experts at Harvard University. The device is easy
A: We got to the store just in the nick of time. Look at the size of the line. B: How many lottery tickets should we buy? A: Four. Four tickets: four times the luck. B: Um. . . I’m not sure the math checks out, but it’s true the more tickets we buy, the higher the chance we have of winning. A: Come on, come on. What’s the hold up? B: Looks like the person at the front of the line can’t decide on his numbers. Couldn’t he have made up his mind while waiting in line? A:
The long wait is finally over, as the Taipei Area reopens for large concerts. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, dozens of shows at the venue were forced to be canceled this year. After the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) relaxed its restrictions across public venues on June 7, applications to hold events at the multipurpose stadium are once again being accepted. Singer Eric Chou will become the first to perform at the Taipei Arena as it reopens, bringing back his Deluxe concert tour with two shows on Saturday and Sunday. On Aug. 15, online retailer PChome Online will stage a
A: OK then, tell me what you would do if you hit the jackpot. B: First things first, I would buy a beautiful mansion with a large landscaped garden, including a hedge maze, and a large lake with a family of white swans. A: Wow, you’ve really thought it through in detail. What next? B: Next, I will found a television company called Happy News TV. It will cover only positive and uplifting news stories. There’s too much negative news in the world today, so I want to spend my money spreading happiness. A: I like the idea, but I think