Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 3, Scenas 3 e 4 (anglese)

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SCENE 3: Peter is going to Alan Tanner's office. He says he has to find a receptionist/secretary, and he would like to know if Alan could help him with the problem. As for looking for a new apartment, it seems that a certain mysterious person has already solved this problem for Petro.

Petro: Mr. Tanner? Alan?

Tanner: Oh, hello, Petro. Come on in.

Petro: Thanks. Listen, I need your help.

Tanner: Fine. What can I do for you?

Petro: There are two things, to tell the truth.

Tanner: Yes?

Petro: First, we need a secretary/receptionist.

Tanner: Ah, a person who can answer the telephone and write some letters, etc.

Petro: Yes, exactly.

Tanner: A bilingual secretary? A trilingual one?

Petro: Okay, English is the most important. After that comes French. Naturally at times German could be useful.

Tanner: Yes. Do you want a man? A woman?

Petro: That's not at all important, but probably it will be a woman. What we want is a good secretary with good qualifications.

Tanner: Very well. First I'm gonna consult with our personnel service. There's also an agency. And naturaly you could also publish a small classified ad in the papers. But do you want somebody right now?

Petro: Yes, as soon as possible.

Tanner: Very well. What was the second thing?

Petro: The other thing is an apartment for me.

Tanner: But I thought you already had an apartment.

Petro: No. I'm living now in a hotel. I want to find an apartment, and Catherina told me that you could help me with this problem.

Tanner: Yes. We have a housing office, but I believe I saw something indicating that you already have an apartment. Let me call up Chambon. Just a minute. (On the phone) Mr. Chambon, please. Yes? He's not there? Fine. I'm Mr. Tanner. I'm with Mr. Minelli. He needs an apartment and ... yes? Ah, yes, I also thought so. Thanks. Chambon is not in his office, but the woman I talked with said that she's sure that there's an apartment for you. Two apartments, on the same floor. Someone in Strasbourg has arranged for them.

Petro: Someone in Strasbourg?

Tanner: Yeah.

Petro: Two apartments?

Tanner: Yeah. Your associate ...

Petro: Oh, God!

Tanner: Pardon?

Petro: Excuse me. Can I see Mr. Chambon?

Tanner: Yeah. He's gonna return to his office in ten minutes. He's in office four hundred eleven.

Petro: I'm gonna go there to see him.

Tanner: Fine. Soon I'm gonna find a secretary for you.

Petro: Thank you so very much.

Tanner: It's a pleasure.


EXERCISE 3: Polite Questions.

Guide: Let's listen to this friendly conversation.

A man: How's everything?

A woman: Just fine, thanks. And you, how're you doing?

A man: Oh, just fine, thanks. Everything's going okay?

A woman: Yes, thank you. Everything's going fine. How's business?

A man: Oh, not bad. Everything's going the way it usually does. Too much work, never enough money, as always. But how's business for you?

A woman: Oh, okay, I guess. We've got a lot to do at this time of the year. How's your family?

A man: Things are going fine with them. And how's your boss?

A woman: Oh, he's doing okay. He's very worried right now.

Guide: This seems rather easy to me. Petro wanted to clear up the story about his apartment. Let's take a look at the next thing he runs into.

SCENE 4: Geneva, the offices of the holding company: Petro is talking to Mr. Chambon, who has the responsibility for looking for apartments for the personnel of his company. Petro's secretary, Alicia, it seems, made a phone call from Strasbourg and reserved two apartments for him and her, one next to the other. Petro says he that he doesn't want to live next to his secretary and that he wants a small apartment in another building at a certain distance from her.

Petro: Good mornng, Miss.

The secretary: Good morning, sir.

Petro: Can I speak to Mr. Chambon, please? I'm Petro Minelli. Mr. Tanner sent me here.

The secretary: I'm sorry, but Mr. Chambon is not in his office right now. But he probabily will be back very soon.

Petro: Very well. Can I wait for him?

The secretary: Certainly. You can sit down over there if you want. ... Ah, Mr. Chambon has come back. I'm gonna tell him that you are waiting for him.

Petro: Thanks a lot.

The secretary: It's a plesure.

Chambon: You are Mr. Minelli, no doubt.

Petro: Yes, I am.

Chambon: Come (on) in. Excuse me for not being here when you arrived.

Petro: Don't worry about that. I didn't have to wait very long for you.

Chambon: Fine. I suppose that you want to see me about your apartment.

Petro: Exactly.

Chambon: Fine. I believe that I have two suitable apartments for you. There're a little expensive, but you said that that wasn't at all important.

Petro: What?

Chambon: Yes. The rent is eight thousand two hundred seventy Swiss francs. They are two apartments next to each other, and we don't have any immediate need for them.

Petro: How much is that in Euros?

Chambon: Okay ... let's see ... It's eight thousand five hundred euros.

Petro: Eight thousand five hundred euros ... Listen, I think there's a mistake.

Chambon: Oh really?

Petro: You received an order from Strasbourg?

Chambon: Exactly.

Petro: Did you receive a letter from ...

Chambon: No. We received a telex. It was signed by ... wait. I should have it here in this folder. Yes, A. Martini. Alicia Martini.

Petro: Alicia Martini. Yes, I believe that there is a mistake.

Chambon: Oh, really?

Petro: Yes. It seems that my secretary did not understand exactly what I wanted. I need only a rather small place that is not too expensive.

Chambon: Small?

Petro: Yes, very small and very cheap. A rather small studio would be enough for me.

Chambon: Ah, that's gonna be much more difficult to find. Apartments for unmarried people are harder to find here in Geneva, especially cheap apartments.

Petro: But can you try to find me one?

Chambon: I'll do everything that I can do.

Petro: Thanks a lot.

Chambon: You're sure you don't want these two larger apartments?

Petro: Yes, completely.

Chambon: Very well. I'm gonna try to help you out.

Petro: Thank you so much.

Chambon: Don't worry. It's a pleasure.


EXERCISE 4: Corrections.

Guide: It seems that Petro's secretary is causing some irritating problems for him. I have the impression that she would like to be more than a secretary. But what interests me is the method Peter used to correct this mistake. What do people say after making mistakes when they speak?

A man: There's a mistake.

A woman: Excuse me?

A man: There's a mistake.

A woman: A mistake?

A man: Yes. That's not the right price. It's three thousand euros.

A woman: Three thousand euros? But you told me two thousand.

A man: Yes, but there's a mistake. I believe I made a mistake.

A woman: It isn't two thousand euros?

A man: Unfortunately no. I'm sorry about this.

A woman: But in your letter you said two thousand euros.

A man: Yes, I know. The letter said two thousand euros. But there was a lack of communication. I'm very sorry about it.

Guide: I think I now understand.