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

SCENE 3: In this scene Petro and Catherina are eating in a cafe near their office. Petro thinks that Catherine seems very young to have a position in the company with so many responsibilities, and he asks her some rather indiscreet questions: what her age is and whether she ever wanted to get married.

Catherina answers very candidly and afterwards speaks to Petro about his interview with the Francesca Cardano, the candidate for the secretary's job. Petro thinks that she would be an ideal secretary. Catherina only wants to be assured that she can start her work before too long because they need someone immediately as they prepare to open their offices in Geneva.

Petro: I find this place very nice for having lunch.

Catherina: Yeah. I do too. And the prices aren't all that high.

Petro: Catherina?

Catherina: Yes?

Petro: You seem to rather young to be responsible for a project like this one.

Catherina: You think so?

Petro: Yes. I hope that this doesn't irritate you.

Catherina: No, not at all.

Petro: There are not many women in your profession.

Catherina: Yes, you're right. There are very few.

Petro: And it surprises me to find a woman of your qualifications at your age.

Catherina: You find it exceptional?

Petro: Yes. It is completely exceptional, very rare.

Catherina: Perhaps I have had a lot of luck.

Petro: And, as I said, you seem quite young for it. Can I ask you your age?

Catherina: Petro, you know that you should never ask women their age.

Petro: But you are not a woman. You are a colleague.

Catherina: Ah, thanks a lot.

Petro: I did not want to give you that kind of bad impression.

Catherina: I know. In any event, it's not a secret. I'm thirty-three years old.

Petro: Thirty-three years old. And you never wanted to get married?

Catherina: To tell the truth, I was married once, for three years.

Petro: In Belgium?

Catherina: Yes.

Petro: And what happened?

Catherina: There were many differences between us that I gradually discovered during the first year of our marriage.

Petro: Your husband also worked in transportation?

Catherina: No, he was a professor of biology.

Petro: I understand. And how were the discussions at the computer center this morning?

Catherina: Everything went well. I believe that we will have what we want. And the interview that you had this morning, how was it?

Petro: Oh, I believe that she is a good candidate.

Catherina: Oh, good. What is her name?

Petro: Francesca. I have forgotten her last name, but I have this in the notes about my interview with her in the office.

Catherina: So you think she could do the work?

Petro: Yes, I think so. She is nice and has a good knowledge of languages: English, German, Spanish. Her experience is rather good. But she has worked only in big companies, and this position would be a little different for her. At times she will have to manage things in the office all by herself. But she is better than all the others. Do you want to talk with her before we make a final decision?

Catherina: No, no. I have confidence in you.

Petro: Fine. As far as I am concerned, I think she is the person we should hire.

Catherina: Fine. And when will she be able to start?

Petro: I told her that we would contact her this week.

Catherina: Fine. I think we should contact her soon. We want to activate the office as soon as possible.

Petro: I know, I know.

EXERCISE 3: Listening and understanding.

Guide: Let's stay in the cafe were Petro and Catherina are eating and listen to the conversation to others who are eating there. What are they talking about?

First woman: Probably you've already tried it out.

Second woman: I don't think so. I can't remember it at all.

First woman: Come on. Try it out.

Second woman: What is it?

First woman: Vodka and orange juice with sugar. Different ingredients.

Second woman: Is it very strong?

First woman: No, no. But naturally, if you drink six or seven, ...

Second woman: Oh, I would never do that.

First woman: I want to have a coctail party, but a real cocktail party, with all sorts of different cocktails.

Second woman: Yes. That would be an excellent idea--based on the nineteen twenties. You could have some music from that time, especially jazz. And everyone would wear clothing from those years.

First woman: Fine: Do you want to have a vodka with orange juice just to try it out?

Second woman: I don't know.

First woman: Come on. Try it out. It won't kill you.

Second woman: Okay, why not? I'm not working this afternoon.

First woman: I'm gonna try to call the waiter.

Guide: Okay. I now understand. So Catherina and Petro have now returned to their offices. Let's see what is happening between them.

SCENA 4: Petro e Catherina talk about their new secretary. Petro then shows Catherina an ad for an engineering job in Mexico. He wants to apply for the position because he doesn't have enough to do in Geneva, and he's getting bored. He asks Catherina if she would give him a reference if he contacted the company offering this position, and she says that she would be happy to do so.

Petro: As soon as possible. Monday? That would be perfect. Yes, yes. I understand. Very good. So we'll see you next Monday. Very good. See you then.

Catherina: Peter, I'd like to ...

Petro We have a secretary.

Catherina: Oh, very good.

Petro: I was just now talking to her on the phone, you know, to Francesca Cardano.

Catherina: Fine. When can she start out?

Petro: Next Monday.

Catherina: Very good.

Petro: Yes. I think that she will work out very well. One other thing: I myself won't be here in the office Monday. Will you be able to orient her?

Catherina: Yes, I can do that. I'll introduce her to all the others, and I'll explain to her a little about the kind of work we do here.

Petro: Very good. Thanks.

Catherina: Fine. In the meantime, look at this. I just got it.

Petro: What is it?

Catherina: Thursday, Paris, Hotel d'Albion.

Petro: Ah, yes. Infomat.

Catherina: Yes. It is their new system of integrated control.

Petro: It could be interesting.

Catherina: It's a bit technical. It's more in your area of expertise than in mine.

Petro: A completely integrated system of control. It has some very interesting possibilities.

Catherina: It is a presentation. A presentation and a conference.

Petro: Four hours, Thursday, in the afternoon. It's too late for lunch but not too late for dinner. They simply want to give us some tea and biscuits. That is not enough. But Informat makes very good products. And if this is a new project, ...

Catherina: Will you be in Paris then?

Petro: Yes. I will be there starting Wednesday.

Catherina: Fine. Do you want me to notify them that you are gonna go there?

Petro: Yes, please.

Catherina: Gerardo will also be there, Gerardo Florette. He always goes to all those conferences. I'm gonna ask him to show you everything that's important at that Informat conference.

Petro: Thanks. (On the phone) Hello? I would like to reserve a seat on a flight to Paris Wednesday afternoon. Yes, exactly. Yes, that's fine. I want to return Thursday afternoon. My name is Minelli: em, I, en, ee, double el, I. Em as in Mama. Fine. And I would also like to reserve a hotel room for the time I will be there. Can I do this through your agent?

EXERCISE 4 Spelling:

Guide: When the course started out, I learned with you to say the letters in Interlingua, and I would like to practice them a little at this point. Let's listen to the spelling of some names:

A man: Francesco:

A woman: Ef, are, ay, en, see, ee, es, see, oh.

A man: Melville:

A woman: Em, ee, el, vee, I, double el, ee.

A man: Switzerland:

A woman: Es, double you, I, tea, zee, ee, are, el, ay, en, dee.

A man: Paris:

A woman: Pea, ay, are, I, es.

A man: London:

A woman: El, oh, en, dee, oh, en.

A man: Geneva:

A woman: Jee, ee, en, ee, vee, ay.

Guide: Fine. It now is Wednesday afternoon. Petro is in Paris. He is arriving at his hotel.