Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 7, Scenas 5 e 6 (anglese)

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SCENE 5: Geneva, in Mr. Chahine's suite: Martijn explains to Mohammed the many advantages of the systems that they can offer him. Mohammed wants to know if the administrative part of the project will take up a lot of time, but Catherina assures him that the four of them can keep the project going very rapidly. Martijn adds that they can select among many options to arrive at the lowest prices.

Mohammed seems impressed, and he wants to know when they will be able to come up with a detailed offer. Catherina estimates that they will need from about eight to ten weeks and suggests that they could also prepare two or three alternative projects. She says that to do their work they will need certain information, such as the cost of fuel, the kind of local electricity system they have, and other similar things.

Catherina also tells Mohammed that she and her team don't want to do all this work for nothing, and she tries to persuade him to say if they will finally get the contract. Mohammed answers that he has asked for offers from three other companies and that the probability that Catherine will get the final contract is good but that he can't promise anything. But because of what he has said, Catherina believes that there are reasons for optimism.

Martijn: This system works with electricity. It is a system that has been tested, and we know that it works well. Naturally, it requires a lot of space. A lot of space.

Mohammed: That's not a problem. We've got a lot of space in the parcel where we're gonna build this city.

Martijn: We have learned a lot from the mistakes made in the installations of the first version of this system in Europe and North America. And you will have the advantage of what we have learned from the problems they have caused us. You also will be able to plan your transport network at the same time that you design the plan for the city itself. This makes sure that finally your transport system will be very well integrated with the other parts of your city and will fulfill your transport needs even more effectively.

Mohammed: What kind of system is it?

Martijn: It is a very high-tech system. It is very rapid and efficient. But naturally installing it is rather expensive. It is magnetic.

Mohammed: And you can furnish us all these systems?

Martijn: Yes. We can furnish them very rapidly. We can use the services of five or six of the best companies in the world. And naturally, we can propose other different solutions.

Mohammed: And will there be problems with administrative delays?

Catherina: Oh, no, no way. As you can see, there are only four people on our administrative team. It is thus very mobile and can do everything very rapidly.

Mohammed: It seems to be a very good system.

Martijn: And since we can select among many options, our prices are very competitive. We look for the most advantageous prices, and we pass the benefits of these low prices on to our customers.

Mohammed: Fine. Let's go on now to the most crucial question: When can you send me a detailed offer?

Catherina: How much time do you have?

Mohammed: Between eight and ten weeks.

Catherina: I think that we can do the necessary work in this period of time. But we will need an idea of your budget for this project.

Mohammed: Naturally we will want to fund this project in the most cost effective way possible. I can't give you an exact amount at this moment.

Catherina: We could then give you a general description of two or three solutions.

Mohammed: Yes, that would be perfect.

Catherina: Fine. For this project we also need fuel costs, the kind of electrical installation that you have, and other similar information on your infrastructure.

Mohammed. Fine.

Catherina: And, naturally, we will also need your local labor costs.

Mohammed: Yes. I have already brought that information here.

Catherina: Fine. And afterwards, Mohammed, ...

Mohammed: Yes?

Catherina: Frankly, we don't want to do so much work for eight weeks without getting paid.

Mohammed: Yes, I understand.

Catherina: In your opinion, do we have a good chance of landing this contract?

Mohammed: Naturally, I can't tell you yes or no at this moment. But I have asked three other companies to prepare different offers. I think that your chances are good. But I simply can't promise you anything before seeing your detailed proposals.

Catherina: I understand, yes.

Mohammed: And we can't pay you for the costs of preparing an offer, if that is what you are asking.

Catherina: I understand.

Mohammed: But between you and me, I don't think that the other companies can offer the services that you are offering us, but I can't give you a definite response before seeing your proposals.

Catherina: What you have said, naturally, I find rather encouraging.


EXERCISE 5: Discussion of time periods for finishing projects:

Guide: During the meeting between Mohammed and Catherina's team, there was a discussion of time periods for finishing projects. There are some expressions they used that seem very useful.

A woman: They want a prototype.

A man: When? When do they want it?

A woman: The deadline is the end of June.

A man: That leaves us with how much time?

A woman: Some six weeks.

A man: Six weeks. I think that we will need more than six weeks.

A woman: How much time then? How much time will you need?

A man: We will have to manufacture it.

A woman: How much time? How much time will be needed to manufacture it?

A man: Two or three weeks. We then will have to make sure it works well.

A woman: How much time will be needed for that?

A man: Another week, more or less. Then we will have to transport it.

A woman: How much time will be needed to transport it?

A man: Oh, two weeks, more or less.

A woman: Very well. Then six weeks will be needed for the entire project.

A man: Yes, but only if everything goes well. You can't be completely confident that the project will be finished within six weeks.

A woman: How much time, then? How much time do you think that we should put aside for this project?

A man: I think that it would be safer to put aside eight weeks.

A woman: Eight weeks. Very well. But we will have to finish all this project in eight weeks with no excuses.

A man: I will do everything I can to make sure of that.

Guide: The negotions with Mr. Chahine have gone well. I would like to know if Catherina and the others are as optimistic.


SCENE 6: Geneva, in a car and in the office: After the meeting with Mohammed, Catherina, Petro, and Martijn discuss the possibilities of getting the contract. Catherina is optimistic and thinks that if everything depended on Mohammed alone, they would probably get it.

Petro tries to invite Catherina to go out to eat dinner with him, but she responds that it would be better not to do this because Petro probabily will be going to Mexico. Petro wants to know if Alan Tanner also has had a certain influence on this decision, and Catherina confesses that this is true. As a matter of fact, Alan calls Catherina up in the middle of this conversation, and Catherina says that she wants to talk to him in her office.

After this, Petro decides that he definitely will go to Mexico. Catherina tries to continue their conversation after talking with Alan, but Petro does not cooperate, and Catherina is annoyed. She then goes away with Martijn to start their work on the Egyptian project.

Petro: Catherina, do you think the meeting went well?

Catherina: It seems to me that everything went well.

Petro: But up to now, we don't have a contract.

Catherina: Yes, you're right. And we also will not have it before the end of summer. But I think that we have really impressed Mohammed with the quality of our services.

Petro: The lunch at least was good.

Catherina: Yes. Mohammed is a gourmet.

Petro: He seemed very happy when we finished the meeting.

Catherina: Yes. I think that if it were up to him alone, we would have the contract with no trouble at all. But even with things as they are, I think we have a good chance of finally landing it.

Petro: Catherina, and this evening, do you think it would be possible ...

Catherina: You're talking about going out to dinner?

Petro: Yes, exactly.

Catherina: Oh, no, Petro, let's not say anything further about that.

Petro: Why not? Is it because of Alan Tanner?

Catherina: Partly, yes. But it's not only because of Alan.

Petro: Why do you say that?

Catherina: Well, you're gonna go to Mexico, and ...

Petro: What?

Catherina: Okay. Things would be different if you stayed here in Geneva. But since you have decided to go to Mexico to work ...

Peter: But ...

Martijn: (Entering the office) Ah, how's everything? And the meeting, what do you think of the possibilities?

Catherina: I think everything went well. And you, Martin, what do you think of it?

Martijn: Oh, I also found it very encouraging, especially when he said to you "Between us, I think that your chances are good." And the lunch. It was fantastic.

Petro: Catherina, for me things have changed.

Catherina: What has changed?

Petro: Everything.

Catherina: Oh yeah? Why?

Petro: You know, I wanted to leave Geneva to go ...

(The phone rings.)

Martijn: Hello? Yes, yes. Sbe's here. Catherina, it's for you. Mr. Tanner is on the line.

Catherina: Alan?

Petro: But Catherina!

Catherina: Hello, Alan? Yes. I'm going with you. Wait a minute. I'm in the reception area of our offices. I'm gonna go to my office. I want to talk with you there. Martijn, can you connect Alan with the phone in my office?

Martijn: Hello? She's now in her office. I'm gonna connect you with her. Stay on the line. Catherina, you have him on your line.

Petro: Good. I now know what I'm gonna do.

Martijn: And what is that?

Petro: I was right. Geneva is not really a good place for me.

Martijn: You're going to Mexico then.

Petro: Yes.

Martijn: Yes, we already thought so. You made the decision already a week or two ago.

Petro: No, not really. To tell the truth, I made this decision only five minutes ago.

Martijn: Have you signed the papers yet?

Petro: No, but I'm gonna do so immediately.

Catherina: (Returning from her office) Thanks, Martijn.

Petro: That didn't last very long.

Catherina: What do you mean, Petro?

Petro: About what?

Catherina: You were talking about certain things that had changed.

Petro: No, no. Nothing. Nothing has changed.

Catherina: Petro, you are really the most exasperating man that I have ever met.

Petro: You're much too nice!

Catherina: Come with me, Martijn. Let's start our work on the offering.

Martijn: With pleasure, boss.

Guide: It seems to me that Petro is too proud. He may run into some fairly difficult problems. But sometimes there are days when things don't work out the way they should.