If only I spoke French!
All day today I was working on labels for bottles that will be sold in Canada. Everything from ingredient decks and usage recommendations to positioning statements and marketing copy on the label must be in both French and English to meet Canada's stringent regulatory standards.
This afternoon I was struggling with an English phrase we needed to have translated into French. But my colleagues—the manly metrosexual graphic artist I'll call Mayo, and our friendly Swedish product manager I'll call Kristofer—weren't much help in the French department. (Kristofer's native Swedish wasn't even providing any good clues.)
So, we decided to bring in reinforcements in the form of Simone, the cute French girl who works on the other side of the building. (That's not her real name either, but she is completely innocent in this story.)
Simone has helped me with various projects and we've formed a bit of a friendship by way of the break room, grabbing coffee, and short elevator trips. I've always thought she was fun and interesting to talk to and ready with a quick hello and a smile. She seems like the kind of person I would like to invite to my dinner club.
Kristofer eagerly volunteered to go get Simone to help us with a new French translation—something about "gently flash pasteurized."
When Simone arrived at my desk, the three of us—Kristofer, Mayo, and I—all pointed to the offending phrase we had been mispronouncing and slaughtering with clunky American (and Swedish) accents for the last hour.
Then Simone read it.
she suddenly became the sexiest thing any of us had ever seen. While she was intent on writing out her translation and whispering the correct phrases in French, not one of us could tear our eyes off of her. (Not even me. And I like boys.)
Just as she was about to leave, I breathlessly asked her if she would mind reading the paragraph just one more time. None of us made a sound.
After she walked around the corner, Mayo said, "Is it just me, or was that the hottest thing you have ever seen in your life?"
I had to agree. It wasn't just him.
If only I spoke French.
10 months ago