I took a nostalgic look through some old phrasebooks for the end of the holiday season:
Good morning! Which island is this?
How deep is the water?
What does “vietato” mean?
You could have… (friendly form)
I like the weather here! I’d like to hire a sunshade. How much per hour?
When will you come to fix the air conditioning?
HOW much per hour?
I’m (very) hot!
Where are the English books? How much per page?
I’d like to hire a motorbike.
The teller machine took my card.
You could ask them for a discount…I am not haggling
Boiled hen and mixed contours…yellow creamy cheese. I’m on a special diet, I ate sushi.
Enjoy your drinks. How old is this wine?
Where are the facilities?
Do you want to dance?
What time shall we meet? Where will we meet? Let’s meet at…
That went very well. Yes I do (understand).
The film is stuck. I prefer arthouse films
A bit more off here, please.
This seat is taken, sorry.
I will sit on the floor.
I have my own mattress.
The room is dirty.
Is there any mail for me?
Please tell him I called. I don’t know his name.
No I don’t (understand).
Goodbye. Sayonara. Au revoir.
After I had “written” this poem, I discovered a much, much, much better one which departs from a similar idea: “Phrase book” by Jo Shapcott.
© Jessica Norrie 2016