Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 2, Scenas 3 e 4 (anglese)
SCENE 3: Geneva, at the airport and in Carla Jackson's automobile: Catherina is in the Geneva airport. A woman, Carla Jackson, comes to meet her. Carla is Swiss, but her husband is American and lives in Switzeland.
She has come with her car to take Carla to a hotel, and she talks a little about her life and her husband, who is looking for work at this moment.
She gives Catherina the name of her hotel and indicates to her where it is located. When they arrive at the hotel in downtown Geneva, Carla expresses her surprise when she discovers that Catherina is not carrying much baggage with her.
Carla Jackson: Excusa me, are you Miss De Sanctis?
Catherina: Yes, that's me.
Carla Jackson: Good afternoon. My name is Carla Jackson.
Catherina: Good afternoon.
Carla Jackson: Welcome to Geneva.
Carla Jackson: Have you had a good trip?
Catherina: Oh, excellent, thanks.
Carla Jackson: I have an automobile to take you away to your hotel.
Catherina: Ah, very good. You are very nice for coming to pick me up. Where are you from yourself?
Carla Jackson: I'm Swiss.
Catherina: Swiss? Your name seems more English or American.
Carla Jackson: Oh, yes, Jackson. My husband is American.
Catherina: Do you live in Switzerland, you and your husband?
Carla Jackson: Yes. Rather near the airport, a few kilometers away. Twenty minutes by car.
Catherina: And what does your husband do?
Carla Jackson: Not much. He's not working at this moment. He's looking for work.
Catherina: What's his profession?
Carla Jackson: He's a teacher. He teaches physical education.
Catherina: Ah, it seems to me that it is not easy to be a foreigner in Switzerland, especially when a person doesn't have work.
Carla Jackson: You're right. Really, it's very hard. But I, at least, have a job. It is not easy for my husband, because he is a teacher, and he is not a Swiss national. He's an American citizen.
Catherina: But you, you are a Swiss national?
Carla Jackson: Yes. I was born in Switzerland. But my husband, he is American. And on top of that he doesn't speak French very well.
Catherina: Then he can't work in a Swiss school.
Carla Jackson: That's right. He can work only in an international school or a private school if there is an available position. It's rather hard for him at this moment. Things will get better once he knows French well. And you, do you speak English or another language?
Catherina: Yes. I speak English and German rather well.
Carla Jackson: It's really useful to speak several languages. ... Oh, I haven't told you the name of your hotel. It's the Hotel Leman. It's in the downtown area of the city, but in an area that is not very noisy.
Catherina: That's perfect.
Carla Jackson: If you need anything, let me know.
Catherina: Thanks. I will do so. But first I must find an apartment.
Carla Jackson: Finding an office is not difficult. But an apartment is more complicated.
Catherina: Mr. Tanner is trying to find me something. He knows Geneva well as well as the parts surrounding it.
Carla Jackson: Ah, yes, Mr. Tanner. He doesn't work in the same place I do, but I know him. We've arrived at the hotel.
Catherina: Good. Thanks a lot.
Carla Jackson: It was a pleasure. This is really all the baggage you have?
Catherina: Yes. I will be getting the rest very soon later on.
Carla Jackson: You don't have much.
Catherina: It's enough for me right now. Ah, I really like this hotel.
EXERCISE 3: Jobs and nationalities.
Guide: Very interesting, this conversation. I would like to hear once again the expressions for describing nationalities and positions of employment.
A man: This man, Dr. Chrales Lautner, he comes from Switzerland?
A woman: He is Swiss. Here is Mr. Maurice Gobin. He comes from France.
A man: He's French. Good. Mrs. Renate Schwartz. She comes from Germany.
A woman: She's German. And Mrs. Conini? She comes from Italy.
A man: She's Italian. And Mr. Gonzalo Alvarez? He comes from Spain.
A woman: He's Spanish. And Mr. Joao Soares? He comes from Portugal.
A man: He's Portuguese. And Mr. Akiro Mishima? He comes from Japan.
A woman: He's Japanese. What does he do?
A man: He's a businessman. He is the president of a small company that will probably will become very important later on.
A woman: And Carla Jackson's husband?
A man: He doesn't have any work. He is unemployed. He is a teacher. He is American. His wife is Swiss and works in an office.
Guide: Hmm, I would like to hear part of this again, but a little more slowly.
A man: What does he do?
A woman: He's looking for work.
A man: What kind of work?
A woman: As a teacher.
A man: Where does he come from?
A woman: From the United States. He's American.
A man: And his wife?
A woman: From Switzerland. She's Swiss.
A man: Is she also looking for work?
A woman: No. She has a job. She works in an office. She is employed in an office.
Guide: Catherina is now going to her office. Let's see now what's happening.
SCENE 4: Geneva, the offices of the holding company: In this scene we get to know Alan Tanner, who works in the building owned by the holding company. It is obvious that he and Catherina know each other very well socially. She asks him how a person can find an office in Geneva.
Alan Tanner explains that there is no space in the holding company's building but that he has arranged for Catherina to immediately consult with an agent who will be able to help her. But before Catherina leaves to see the agent, Alan invites her to have dinner with him. Catherina observes that he hasn't changed in any way at all.
Catherina: Can I come in, Mr. Tanner?
Tanner: Catherina! Ah! I'm happy to see you. How are you?
Catherina: Very well, thanks, Alan. And you?
Tanner: Very well. What do you think of Geneva?
Catherina: It seems to be very nice.
Tanner: Have you had a good trip?
Catherina: Very good, thanks.
Tanner: And the hotel, do you find it convenient?
Catherina: Yes. It is very good.
Tanner: And things in Paris, are they going well?
Catherina: Yes, everyting is going very well in Paris.
Tanner: Ah. We had some really nice times in Paris, you and I.
Catherina: Yes, really.
Tanner: You came a little early to get organized?
Catherina: Yes. At least I want to organize what I can before starting work. Tell me, how can a person find an office in this city?
Tanner: Ah. Unfortunately, there is no space in this building.
Catherina: Yes, I know. I know.
Tanner: All this is stupid. You are only four people, and everything is so big here. You'd think we could find something for four new people, but this isn't really possible.
Catherina: Yes, yes. I understand. At any rate, it is not the same organization. It would probably be better for us not to be in the same office.
Tanner: I don't see why not. But in any event, I have called an agent who specializes in finding offices, and I have arranged a meeting between you and him. I believe that it would be better if you talked directly with him.
Catherina: Ah, very good. When will the meeting take place?
Tanner: Yes. The meeting was for nine thirty.
Catherina: But it is now nine thirty.
Tanner: I know.
Catherina: Then we'd better go there.
Tanner: Wait. Let's finish our coffee first. We don't have any need to hurry up. And I have some things to say to you.
Catherina: Oh yeah? About what?
Tanner: About the possibility of the two of us going out to dinner this evening.
Catherina: Alan, you haven't changed at all.
EXERCISE 4: How to talk about the time of day.
Guide: I want to be confident about knowing how to tell the time of day in Interlingua.
A woman: What time is it?
A man: It is about five thirty.
A woman: Five thirty.
A man: What time does the train come?
A woman: For train schedules, people use a twenty-four-hour clock.
A man: Let's see. Seventeen hundred hours. What does that mean?
A woman: Seventeen hundred hours is five o'clock.
A man: Let's try sixteen hundred forty hours.
A woman: Five forty. And eighteen hundred hours fifty. What is that?
A man: Six forty.
A woman: And another way of saying ten to seven?
A man: Six fifty.
A woman: And ninteen hundred hours ten? What can be said instead of nineteen hundred hours ten?
A man: Seven ten.
A woman: Yes, seven ten.
A woman: And seven fifteen? What can be said insted of seven fifteen?
A man: A quarter past seven.
A woman: And seven forty five?
A man: A quarter to eight.
Guide: Ah, thanks. I now understand a bit better.
A woman: Fine. We have to catch the train, and we must use this twenty-four-hour clock. What is eighteen hundred five hours?
A man: Six oh five. What is nineteen hundred five hours?
A woman: Seven fifteen. What is twenty hundred twenty-five hours?
A man: Eight twenty-five And twenty-one hundred thirty hours?
A woman: Nine thirty. And twenty-one hundred twenty-five hours?
A man: Twenty-five to ten. And twenty-three forty hours?
A woman: Twenty minutes to midnight.
Guide: Let's return to Strasbourg where we have left Petro. He has to prepare for his trip to Geneva. Here he is at the travel agency: