9 January 2007

"The trick in speaking a language badly is to have a few good questions at hand. In Russian you might try, "Shchto to znachit konkretno?" (what does that mean in practical terms?), or "U vas jest jarky primyer?" (do you have a vivid example?). If you know local variants of those questions you can keep offering them with a friendly, puzzled smile, and in the end your interlocutor will get out a pen and paper and draw you a cartoon strip in order to get the point across."

- from a piece on Slovakia, published yesterday on Economist.com

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