Well I am almost 16 hours late in joining the post. Why? I had a meeting for the first time with a partner of our company who flew in from China. No he was not a Chinese but a German. This German friend knows a little and English and had this idea that we Indians know English and Spanish. Spanish???? Well we know that they are world champion in football and love their game, love Barcelona but Spanish. So this gentleman starts with a warm Good Morning and then shifts to Spanish. I am listening to Spanish for the first time so you can understand that I do not understand anything. I interrupt him and ask him to shift English. He smiles back says, “My English no good. You no understand Spanish. I have India friends, they speak good Spanish.”
I tell him that we Indians in India use English and not Spanish. Now he looks astounded says, ” Chinese no understand Spanish, you no understand Spanish my English no good how we talk.” Never mind I assure him we can do with little English. Assured he looks at me and then with lot of hope looks at me asks whether I know German. I remember Anglo-Swiss sure she knows German, will she help? But how I am in a meeting with German friend in India and she must busy in Switzerland with her daily post.I smile back and almost apologetically inform him that no I do not know German. Suddenly it strikes that we both understand financials which are nothing but numbers and standardized across the business world. Accounting processes may be different but we know how to protect our own interest, our turf.
Marathon meeting goes on he shifting to German time and again, we Indian shifting to Hindi without any worry of offending each other. Sign languages come in time and again in the way that it is used by people who can listen and talk, so it is mostly shrugging of shoulders waving of hand and smiling at each other. God knows how we came to an understanding on our business terms. Now he says with a smile, ”No language but language of business………hahahaha”. I agree we decide to have a party in the evening. I bring in a friend who knows German to translate he brings in one so that he can act as interpreter. Somehow without their help we drink to successful business meet and see I am late for daily post by nearly 15 hours.