A Croatian at Američki Centar: A Basic Dialogue

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Ivana: Dobar dan! Ja sam Ivana.

 

James: HELLO! Welcome to Americki Centar! Do you speak any English?

 

Ivana: No.

 

James: No? Nothing? Nothing at all? Not even a bit?

 

Ivana: Little.

 

James: A little?

 

Ivana: Yes, a little.

 

James: Do you understand what I am saying now?

 

Ivana: Yes.

 

James: See, you know some English!

 

Ivana: Yes a little. I learn on school some English, but I don’t know gramatik.

 

James: OK, so you learned some English in school, but need to learn some grammar?

 

Ivana: Yes.

 

James: OK! Great! So let’s try this in English, ok?

 

Ivana: UFFFF, ok, we try.

 

James: Great. We will try. Probat ćemo!

 

Ivana: HAHAHA

 

James: So, Ivana, what can we do for you?

 

Ivana: Erm. I need some informations about tečaj engleskog, I mean, English lessons.

 

James: Ah, you would like some information about classes here at Američki Centar. Well, what type of class are you looking for?

 

Ivana: I don’t know. I didn’t thought about it. What tečajevi engleskog do you offer?

 

James: OK, so you didn’t think about it? Well, we have group classes and individual classes.

 

Ivana: Maybe group class for beginner.

 

James: Ok, so you want a group class for beginners?

 

Ivana: Yes.

 

James: But are you really a beginner? You understand me don’t you?

 

Ivana: Yes, I understand all.

 

James: You understand everything! See you know English!

 

Ivana:  Little…I mean, a little.

 

James: See, you corrected yourself! You are learning already, and you’re not even in class yet!

 

Ivana: HAHAHA

 

James: Let’s see how much you know, ok?

 

Ivana:  OK.

 

James: So, Ivana, tell me about yourself. Who is Ivana?

 

Ivana: Erm, I am Ivana. I have 28 years old. I have blue hair and blue eyes.  Erm, I working in company. But before four years, I working as waitress.

 

James: Ok Ivana. So you are 28 years old. In English we do not have an age, we ARE our age!

 

Ivana: Really?

 

James: Yes really! We also ARE our weight!

 

Ivana: Oh I don’t like that idea! So I am 65 kilos? No, no, no, I rather have 65 kilos!

 

James: HAHAHA, yeah I know! I’d rather have kilos too! Anyway, what color hair did you say you have?

 

Ivana: I have blue hair.

 

James: Blue?

 

Ivana: Yes.

 

James: Well, you have blue eyes, but blonde hair.

 

Ivana: Oh blonde hair. On Croatian we say blue hair.

 

James: In Croatian.

 

Ivana: Oh, in Croatian we say blue hair.

 

James: I know, some things just don’t translate directly.

 

Ivana: Yes. See this is why I need to learning English.

 

James: You need to learn English? Don’t worry, you will learn English here with us!

 

Ivana: Good. I am happy for that.

 

James: You are happy because of that? GREAT! We are happy to hear it. So Ivana, you were telling me about your job?

 

Ivana: Yes, I working as secretary in company.

 

James: You work as a secretary in a company?

 

Ivana: Yes, I work as a secretary in a company.

 

James: Great. And what did you do before that?

 

Ivana: Before four years, I work as a waitress.

 

James: So, four years ago you worked as a waitress?

 

Ivana: Four years ago, yes.

 

James: Interesting. So you were a waitress and now you are a secretary.

 

Ivana: Yes. I worked as a waitress until I not finished faks.

 

James: I see. So you worked as a waitress until you finished college?

 

Ivana: Yes.

 

James: What kind of waitress were you? Did you work in a restaurant or in a cafe?

 

Ivana: I working in a cafe.

 

James: You worked in a cafe?

 

Ivana: Yes, I worked in a cafe. It was good because I like to go on coffee.

 

James: Everyone in Croatian likes to go for a coffee it seems!

 

Ivana: Yes, it is very popular here to go for a coffee.

 

James: Good good, see we are learning!

 

Ivana: HAHAHA, yes.

 

James: Well Ivana, you do know some English, and we have the perfect group for you!

 

Ivana: Really? Great!

 

James: The class actually starts in about an hour. Are you free at 6pm?

 

Ivana: Yes, I am.

 

James: Well we can get you all signed up and you can start today! How does that sound?

 

Ivana: GREAT! Will you learn me English?

 

James: No, another one of our teachers will teach you English, but you will learn English.

 

Ivana: Ah, the teacher teaches English, and the student learns English.

 

James: Yes, see the learning has already begun!

 

Ivana: HAHAHA

 

James: So here you go. Here is the contract for the class. You can read it over and if you agree with everything you can sign at the bottom

 

Ivana: (reads the contract). This is all good. Can you borrow me a pen?

 

James: Of course. I can lend you a pen.

 

Ivana: What is lend?

 

James: I am lending you a pen, but you are borrowing the pen from me.

 

Ivana: Oh there are two words? On Croatian, we only have one word—posuditi.

 

James: Yeah, in English the owner lends and the person using it borrows.

 

Ivana: I understand now.

 

James: Ok, well it looks like you are all set and ready to start class! You can wait here until the class starts or come back before the class starts.

 

Ivana: I will go to the cafe now. I will come back for one hour.

 

James: You will come back in an hour?

 

Ivana: Yes, I will come back in an hour! Do you know where is the closest cafe?

 

James: Do I know where the closest cafe is?

 

Ivana: Yes, do you know where the closest cafe is?

 

James: OF COURSE! It is right down the street!

 

Ivana: Ok, thanks! See you in an hour!

 

James: Ok, great! See you soon!

 

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