Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 1, Scenas 5 e 6 (anglese)

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SCENE 5: Strasbourg, in the offices of Marex Mundial: The scene starts out with a conversation between Catherina and the director, who congratulates her because she has been selected for the Geneva project. She thanks him for all the help that he has given her. She then explains that she must leave to talk with Petro.

We then find her in Petro's office, and he expresses his regrets for having to go away suddenly that morning. When they start understanding each other, the worker returns to take away everything that's still in Peter's office. Catherina and Petro protest, but the worker does not listen, and they then have to look for another office to continue their conversation.

Catherina: Thanks a lot for your help.

The Director: It was a pleasure. It is very interesting for you, that Geneva project, isn't it?

Catherina: Yes. I find it really fascinating.

The Director: And you are young for such important work ... The people at Trans Infra must think a lot of you.

Catherina: It is simply that this is the type of work that I really like.

The Director: Would you like some tea?

Catherina: No, thanks. What time is it? I must go to see Petro Minelli.

The Director: Ah, yes, Petro. He is an excellent engineer. You will like him a lot.

Catherina: We have made an appointment at four o'clock, and I must go now.

The Director: Very well. If I can help you with anything, you only have to let me know.

Catherina: I will do that. Thanks a lot.

(Someone knocks on the door.)

Petro: Come in.

Catherina: Good afternoon.

Petro: Oh, good afternoon.

Catherina: Are you free at this moment?

Petro: Yes, certainly. Excuse me for the events of this morning. I had to leave a little rapidly.

Catherina: Don't worry. It's not at all important.

Petro: Very well. Then what can I do for you? Excuse me, I have forgotten your name.

Catherina: Catherina De Sanctis.

Petro: Catherina De Sanctis. Oh, yes. Excuse me. My memory for names is rather bad.

Catherina: Mine is too. I have a good memory for pictures and faces, but never for names.

Petro: Fine. My name is Petro.

Catherina: Yes, I know. My memory for names is not completely bad.

Petro: What can I do to help you, Catherina?

Catherina: Good, I would like ...

(The worker who was taking away the things in Petro's office returns.)

Worker: Can I continue now?

Petro: No, not at all. Not right now. Don't you see that I am busy? I am in a meeting.

Worker: Excuse me, but you said four o'clock, and it is now later than four o'clock.

Petro: Listen, let me have ten minutes.

Worker: I'm sorry, but it is now later than four o'clock, and I leave work at four thirty.

Catherina: What does he want?

Worker: I have to move all this out before four thirty, and it is now more than four o'clock. And besides, I am completely alone.

Petro: Can you give me only five minutes?

Worker: No. Listen. Excuse me, but I must start immediately.

Catherina: Can we use another office?

Worker: I'm very sorry, but I know nothing about that.

Petro: Fine. Let's try to find another office.


EXERCISE 5: Excusing and introducing oneself.

Guide: In this conversation people have excused themselves. Let's explore further the various ways of doing this in Interlingua.

A man: Would you like a cup of tea?

A woman: Thanks.

A man: Oh, I'm sorry, but I spilled the coffee.

A woman: Don't worry. It's my fault. There is some coffee on your papers.

A man: Oh, don't worry. It's nothing serious. There is also some coffee on your clothing.

A woman: Oh, that's not important.

A man: Excuse me. Can you repeat your name? My memory for names is not very good.

A woman: That's not at all important. I myself don't have a very good memory for names.

A man: Oh, there is coffee spilled everywhere, on a lot of things.

A woman: I'm so very sorry.

A man: It's nothing.

A woman: And I'm very sorry for being late.

A man: Don't worry. You're not really late.

A woman: I said at four o'clock, and it is a little later than four at this moment.

A man: That's not at all important. Good, can you give me your name? I have forgotten it.

A woman: Maria. And your name, I believe it is Lorenzo.

A man: Yes, you're right. Excuse me. As I've already told you, my memory for names is very bad.


EXERCISE 6: Describing a company. The days of the week.

Guide: In the next exercise, we are going to run into some commercial and technical words. First, I would like to hear them separately.

A man: Tell me about this company.

A woman: It is part of a group. The central offices are in the United States, in New York.

A man: The central offices are American.

A woman: The central offices of this group are American. There are three branch offices.

A man: The group has central offices and three branch offices.

A woman: One in Switzerland, one in Canada, and one in the United Kingdom. There are three branch offices in the group besides the central offices.

A man: We are in the United Kingdom.

A woman: We are the British branch. The central offices are in the United States. The American company is the owner of our branch. We form part of the group.

A man: We don't own the group.

A woman: No. It is the central company in New York that owns the group. We are only a branch.

A man: The entire group includes the central company, and the branches. Do you understand now?

Guide: Let's talk now about a trip to Geneva.

A man: Are you leaving Saturday?

A woman: Next week?

A man: No, not next week. At the end of this week.

A woman: Today is Monday.

A man: Tuesday, Wednesday.

A woman: Thursday, Friday.

A man: Saturday, Sunday. We are going to fly to Geneva next Saturday.

Guide: Fine. So Petro and Catherina are looking for an available office, a place where they can talk. Let's find out if they have been successful.


SCENE 6: Strasbourg, in the offices of Marex Mundial: Catherina and Petro try to continue their conversation. Finally they find a vacant office, and Catherina explains to Petro something about the nature of the Geneva Project. A secretary interrupts them, saying that she has to lock up the offices before going away.

Despite this interruption, Catherina is able to say to Petro that he has been selected for the Geneva project and that his work there will start the following week. Petro expresses his surprise because he has no recollection of accepting this new assignment.

Petro: There must be another office in this area. Is it vacant? Oh, excuse me. No, there is someone in that office that I didn't see.

Catherina: And here?

Petro: Is it empty?

Catherina: Take a look.

Petro: Nobody seems to be using it right now.

Catherina: Yes. Everything's fine. We can use these chairs.

Petro: Then you're gonna work at the central offices?

Catherina: I used to work there. But you ought to know I'm gonna work in Geneva.

Petro: In the Trans-Infra office in Geneva?

Catherina: No ...

Petro: In our Marex Mundial agency in Geneva?

Catherina: No, not at all.

Petro: Then in the holding company in Geneva?

Catherina: No, not exactly. But wait. Let's go back and start out once again.

Petro: Good idea! You've come from Paris?

Catherina: Yes, exactly.

Petro: Up to now you have worked for Trans-Infra, in the central office.

Catherina: Exactly!

Petro: And you are now gonna work in Geneva.

Catherina: Bravo! You have understood everything.

Petro: But there is a certain thing that I don't understand very well even now. What are you doing here, in this branch?

Catherina: That's exactly what I was gonna explain to you.

A secretary: Oh, excuse me.

Catherina: We were looking for an empty office.

The secretary: Ah, but this one's not really free.

Petro: Oh, nuts!

The secretary: I'm gonna lock these doors. Do you have a key?

Petro: No.

The secretary: Listen, I'm very sorry about this, but I'm gonna leave and I've gotta lock up these offices before going away.

Petro: But this isn't possible!

Catherina: She's right. We shouldn't be here. Do you know where we can go?

The secretary: Everyone's locking up now, but perhaps you can find a quiet place in some other part of this building.

Petro: Fine. We'll find some quiet place some way or other.

Catherina: I was talking about ...

Petro: Oh, all this is not at all important. I was only casually interested in it.

Catherina: But it should be of interest to you. It also concerns you.

Petro: It concerns me? How?

Catherina: Because you're also going to Geneva.

Petro: What am I gonna do in Geneva?

Catherina: You have signed on. Didn't you agree to it?

Petro: Agree to what?

Catherina: To participate in the Geneva project.

Petro: I don't remember anything about that.

Catherina: You don't remember having asked to work in Geneva?

Petro: Okay. I remember having thought about it. It interested me a little. I remember that I had spoken about it to Paul Barone many months ago. But nothing had been decided.

Catherina: Well fine. It has been decided. Everything has been completely arranged.

Petro: And I've now gotta go to Geneva?

Catherina: Exactly.

Petro: Really? But when?

Catherina: You're gonna fly there next Sunday.

Petro: Next Sunday?

Catherina: Yeah. At the end of the week.

Petro: But ...

The secretary: Can you leave this office? It's absolutely necessary for me to lock it up right now.

Catherina: I think she wants us to go away.

The secretary: Exactly!

Petro: I must leave for Geneva at the end of this week.

(Petro and Catherina leave the building.)

Porter: Here are the keys to your car, Mr. Minelli.

Petro: Ah, yes. Thanks. I wish someone had told me sooner so that I could get ready more easily.

Guide: Petro seems a little surprised. I'd like to know what's been going on here. And I'd also like to know exactly what's gonna happen to him. There is only one way to find out: listening to the next part.