Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 7, Scenas 1 e 2 (anglese)

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SCENE 1: The Geneva offices: Martijn Ockrente and Olivero Rossi, after hearing the news of the Egyptian project, are very happy. They talk with Catherina about the time and place of their meeting the next morning. Catherina then goes away, and Martijn and Olivero speak about the project and the possibilities of getting the contract for Marex.

Martijn explains how at times it is possible to get around the advertising laws and public offerings, which are often not as public as they appear. It is easy, he says, to decide in advance who is going to get the contract and to give a lot of time to a preferred company to prepare its presentation and not enough time to the other applicants. Everyone agrees that there is little they can do during this part of the process, but Oliver wants to examine the accounts.

Catherina, who has returned to the office, reminds Petro that they are going to go out to eat and tells Olivero that he should not work too hard this evening. Olivero and Martijn laugh a little at Petro for going out with Catherina and say that he should change clothes before picking her up.

Martijn; That is really a good piece of news.

Catherina: Yes.

Olivero: What time is the meeting tomorrow?

Catherina: At ten o'clock.

Martijn: Possibly it would be a good idea for us to get together a little early.

Olivero: Yes.

Catherina: I'm gonna photocopy these papers. I'll see you soon.

Martijn: Okay.

Olivero: We don't have the time to make a complete offer.

Martijn: We don't have to.

Olivero: But we'll have to do so before too long.

Martijn: Yes, but tomorrow it will be okay if we are just nice.

Olivero: And competent.

Martijn: And intelligent. Only that will be necessary tomorrow.

Olivero: But seriously, what is the possibility that we will get this contract? If it is for the government, we will have to make a public offering.

Martijn: No doubt, yes.

Olivero: And if we have to make a public offering, that means that anyone can submit something.

Martijn: Exactly.

Olivero: The Japanese, the Americans, the Swedish, everyone.

Martijn: Yes.

Olivero: And then they are going to select the lowest offer, and possibly ...

Martijn: Yes, but wait.

Olivero: What?

Martijn: Public offers are not always as public as you may believe.

Olivero: But they have to be like that, according to the rules of the game. And certainly there are laws for that. In all countries things are like that.

Martijn: Yes, but there are various ways of minipulating the legal requirements.

Olivero: How?

Martijn: Okay, for example, you publish an ad in different newspapers in which you say "Offers are being solicited for an important development project."

Olivero: Yes?

Martijn: Then you add "The offers should be made in a period of twenty-one days." Don't you see? Who can make a complete offer in three weeks?

Olivero: All right, there is possibly someone out there who can do this.

Martijn: Naturally. In that case, you add: "For further details, write us ... " They can't prepar an offer before having available the exact details. And then you send them this information only a week before the closing date.

Olivero: Ah, I understand. That is astute. And during that time ...

Martijn: Exactly, during that time you decide who you want to select to finish the project. You give them a week extra, and you send them the complete details before the others get them.

(Petro comes in.)

Petro: Good morning to everyone.

Martijn: Hello, Petro.

Petro: What were you talking about?

Martijn: About the Egyptian project, the meeting tomorrow.

Olivero: Martijn told me that public offers are not always completely public.

Petro: How?

Olivero: You select in advance the company that will get this contract. You give them enough time to prepare an offer and less time to all the others.

Petro: Very astute!

Martijn: That is only one way of approaching this problem. There are also others.

Olivero: But won't it seem irregular to have only one offer?

Martijn: In that case you ask them to submit three different offers.

Olivero: Well, I must say I'm happier to be in accounting and not in marketing. It isn't very honest.

Martijn: But business is like that. You have to come to terms with reality.

Olivero: Yes. And I have to examine some numbers.

Martijn: In any event, not much can be done this evening.

Olivero: I only want to take a brief look to learn the limits a little.

Catherina: Good morning.

Olivero: Good Morning, Catherina.

Catherina: Is everything ready for tomorrow?

Martijn: I think so.

Olivero: Martijn just now finished explaining to us the different ways of manipulating a public offering. There are various ways that are quite astute.

Catherina: But their use is not up to us. It is the entrpreneur who will decide. If it is you who he wants, he will find a way of making sure that you are selected. Okay. Are you going to close up the office this evening?

Olivero: Uh, I want to work a little on the numbers and verify some details.

Catherina: Fine, if you really want to do that. Petro, are we gonna go out to eat tonight?

Petro: Yes, if ...

Catherina: Good. Okay, I'm gonna go to my apartment to change clothes. Can you come get me there around seven thirty?

Petro: Fine. I'll be there.

Catherina: See you then. And Martijn and Oliver, don't work too hard this evening. We will have to be in good form tomorrow.

Olivero: Yes, you're right. See you tomorrow.

Martijn: Fine.

Catherina: See you later.

Olivero: Ah ha!

Martijn: What do you mean by that?

Olivero: (Imitating Catherina) "I'm gonna go to my apartment to change clothes. Can you come get me there around seven thirty?"

Martijn: I hope, Petro, that you are gonna have a lot of fun this evening.

Petro: Oh, you're only saying that because you're jealous.

Olivero: No. I simply understand that it is one way, like many others, of getting ahead in business.

Martijn: But I thought she was going out with that Swiss guy.

Petro: No, she put an end to their relationship.

Olivero: So you're the one who's gonna play this time, Petro. Good luck!

Petro: I haven't got any time for this. I've gotta get ready for this evening.

Olivero: Yes, and don't forget to take a shower and change your clothes.

Petro: Yeah, yeah. I've gotta get outta here.

Martijn: See you. Have fun.

Olivero: See you.


EXERCISE 1: Opportunities for success.

Guide: I have found that a little difficult. What was he talking about exactly? Getting the contract? Signing the contract? There were also some other words that I didn't understand very well.

A man: An appeal for offers to build hangars at the Tripoli Airport. What's that?

A woman: It's an advertisement.

A man: It's in the paper.

A woman: Its a newspaper ad.

A man: They want that the compnies reading the ad ...

A woman: ... make an offer.

A man: It appeared in the paper. Then, ...

a woman: ... it is an appeal for a public offering.

Guide: Yes, I understand. There were some questions about opportunities for success.

A man: Is it public?

A woman: It is in the paper. If it is in the paper, it is public.

A man: Then any company can make an offer?

A woman: Yes, because it is a public offer in a newspaper.

A man: Can I participate too?

A woman: Do you want to participate? You can if you want.

A man: Will I have to write them?

A woman: Yes. Write them if you want.

A man: Do you think I'll get the contract?

A woman: I don't know. Are your prices right? You will get the contracto if your prices are right.

A man: Do you think that's possible?

A woman: I don't know. You have the necessary skills. But you are a seller of mineral water!

A man: Yes, but I can pariticipate if I want!

Guide: He's funny, that guy who sells mineral water. But let's see what's gonna happen when Petro and Catherina go out to dinner this evening.


SCENE 2: Geneva: In a restaurant: In this scene we find Petro and Catherina in a restaurant ordering a meal. Petro becomes unhappy when he discovers that people can dance there only Fridays and Saturdays. When they order their meals, Peter wants something hot, and he is afraid he won't have enough to eat. He is very hungry.

The waiter takes their order, and Petro asks if he will have enough to eat. The waiter assures him that the portions are very generous but that he can have a supplementary portion if he is really very hungry. Catherina asks for venison, but the kitchen doesn't have it at this moment, and the waiter suggests alternatives.

Petro: This seems to be a good restaurant.

Catherina: Yes, it seems very good.

Petro: And you can dance here, and there is a bar.

Catherina: Yes, I've seen it. But I've also seen that you can only dance here on Fridays and Saturdays.

Petro: Where did you see that?

Catherina: On the door. It says "The bar is open for dancing only on Fridays and Saturdays."

Petro: Oh, that's unfortunate.

Catherina: That's not important. The restaurant itself is very nice.

Petro: Yes, but I wanted to dance.

Catherina: Okay, maybe they'll let you dance, if you insist.

Waiter: Would the two of you care to order right now?

Catherina: Oh, I haven't been able to look at your menu yet.

Petro: Just a moment. We're not completely ready.

Waiter: I'll be back in a minute.

Petro: Let's see. What is there that's good?

Catherina: Ah, venison. I think I'm gonna order that.

Petro: I want something hot.

Catherina: Ah, there is fish soup, or asparagus souffle. That should be hot.

Petro: Yes. I think I'm gonna order the souffle, but I'm wondering if I'll have enough. I'm very hungry.

Catherina: You can always order a side dish of potatoes or something similar.

Waiter: Are you ready to order?

Catherina: Yes. I'd like an avocado with shrimp.

Waiter: Fine, madame. And for you, sir?

Petro: I'd like an asparagus souffle. Tell me something: Are your portions large?

Waiter: Yes, sir. They are really quite large. If you want, you can always order an extra portion.

Petro: Very good.

Waiter: And you, madame, what would you prefer as an entree?

Catherina: I'd like to have some venison.

Waiter: Ah, madame, I'm very srry. There's no venison in the kitchen right now. But the mutton is excellent. And we also have a chicken entree that is exceptionally good.


EXERCISE 2:

Guide: Okay. All this dialogue took place in a restaurant. I'd like to review a little what people say in a restaurant. First, how do you summon a waiter?

A woman: Waiter!

Waiter: Yes, what would you like, madame?

A woman: I'd like to see the menu, please.

Waiter: The menu, ... there is one on your table, madame.

A woman: No, that is the wine list.

Waiter: Excuse me. I'll go get you a menu. Here it is.

A woman: Thank you.

Waiter: Have you selected anything?

A woman: I'm gonna order a fish plate.

Waiter: Very good, and what kind of vegetables would you like?

A woman: Peas and potatoes, please.

Waiter: Peas and potatos, very good. And would you also like a salad?

A woman: No, thanks. No salad.

Waiter: And to drink?

A woman: A half bottle of white wine.

Guide: I think that I understand that. And at the end of the meal? She will have to ask the waiter for the check.

A woman: Waiter!

Waiter: Yes, do you want something for dessert?

A woman: No, thanks. I would like the check.

Waiter: Certainly. Did you like your meal?

A woman: Yes. It was great, thanks. What is that?

Waiter: What?

A woman: The seventeen euros.

Waiter: That's the service charge, madame.

A woman: I see. It certainly is expensive!

Guide: Let's hear what Catherina and Petro say to each other after the meal: