Euro confusion

Easterner   Thursday, October 21, 2004, 17:38 GMT
Joanne, please don't take my previous post personally, I meant nothing wrong. It happens I get stuck on a phrase that catches my eye. I've also met all sorts of drivers, so I can understand you. :-)
Joanne   Thursday, October 21, 2004, 18:03 GMT
It's cool, I know what you meant :)

Taxi drivers have their identification cards on display for their passengers to see.

And yes, OK, perhaps I was exaggerating a little when I wrote "seven consonants in a row" but the surname that came to my mind when I wrote that looked like this: Krczt...(some letters I don't remember)...wkycz. I don't know much about the Cyrillic alphabet, but maybe he was trying to keep the spelling as close to the Cyrillic alphabet as he could, when he came to the US.

I didn't really care at that time, I just wanted my correct change back! :D
Easterner   Thursday, October 21, 2004, 18:50 GMT
They may have been Polish, or perhaps Russian. Folks from over here can be tricky sometimes :-) (I'm from Eastern Europe too). I've also met some long-distance bus drivers here who tend to "round up" the fare so that they don't have to give coins back. If they do this with say a hundred passengers a day, they make a nice extra earning by the end of the month - they also tend to be grumpy when you ask for the correct change.
nic   Friday, October 22, 2004, 08:33 GMT
Damian and Lavoisel,

Railway system in Europe is quite good, the space between the 2 rails is the same in all Europe apart Spain. So you are at the border between Spain to France you need 2 hours to change the boggies. Only 1 train (the TALGO) which is french has been invented to resolve that problem. But most of the time you need 2 hours. SO, imagine if it had to be the case for all countries!

Lavoisel, you don't know how it's a casse tĂȘte to find the right system for all europeans and don't imagine how electricity systems can be diffenrent form danish, to dutch, to french, to germans, to italians to english..........
Damian   Friday, October 22, 2004, 10:01 GMT

Apart from travelling on Eurostar (London-Paris) - the journey after emerging from the Chunnel to Gard du Nord - the only other train journey I have had on a French train was from Paris to Chartres, then back again. It was really great.

Language wise - I did quite well asking for directions and also for details of places of interest to visit. I got chatting to a French girl (she was with her mother who didn't speak English) on the train back and it was a good opportunity to practise my French. BUT.....she insisted in replying in English after a while. I asked her in some anxiety if my French was really, really that bad and she said it was very good! I wimped out and didn't ask her why she kept reverting to English! Maybe subconsciously I was relieved as I could be more relaxed.

Why does that keep happening to me in France? I speak French, and (some) people respond in English. Are they trying to tell me something, or am I paranoid?
Lavoisel   Friday, October 22, 2004, 14:22 GMT

I do know how much of a brain-teaser it is to come up with a train electric system that could equally satisfy everyone. I just think we should make more efforts towards a European standardised railway system. Europe is a small continent with a lot of huge crowded cities, hence all the trafic jams. That would thus be the most appropriate place for more high speed electric trains to lighten up the traffic. That would be a success for the same reasons that the Paris-Lyon TGV line worked: cars are too slow and planes are too expensive. TGV has the additional qualities of being environment-friendly and very silent, very comfortable. "Magnifique", as Damian would say. So what are we waiting for before we spread it all over the EU?
And I've already heard about the TALGO but have never had the chance to get on it. They say the Spanish chose a different railway gauge because they thought it would make it harder to invade Spain!


people are not trying to tell you something. It's just that when you speak to French people, you are in conflict of interest with them because you and them want to practise the language of each other. There can be only one winner at that game, and you are not going to win by asking them why they switch to English... Next time, tell them in a decided voice that you don't want to speak English because you want to practise your French. :p
Sanja   Saturday, October 23, 2004, 15:14 GMT
Requirements of the EU seem to be really serious. Bosnia is hoping to get in the EU by the end of this decade, but I'm pretty sceptical, I don't think we can fulfill all the requirements that soon.
Ed   Saturday, October 23, 2004, 21:46 GMT
Sanja, You guys are definitely behind Croatia, and they will get into the EU in 2008 at best, so I don't really know. I heard that the EU would make it even harder for countries to get in the union after Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 :-(
Sanja   Sunday, October 24, 2004, 14:11 GMT
Oh my God, we will never join the EU :(
jaro   Sunday, October 24, 2004, 14:46 GMT
Don't be desperate, it will happen eventually.
Has Bosnia already applied for EU membership?
Damian   Sunday, October 24, 2004, 15:15 GMT
<<Oh my God, we will never join the EU :( >>

Don't get TOO excited about joining the Euroclub! Just look at some of the individuals rising to prominence in it.....such as a guy called Rocco Buttiglione. Oh my god! You may take our place if you wish! ;-)
Damian   Sunday, October 24, 2004, 19:34 GMT
For countries in Eastern Europe EU is of vital importance. They can't be compared to the UK
Ed   Sunday, October 24, 2004, 19:38 GMT
Ooops, the previous post was mine, not Damian's
nic   Monday, October 25, 2004, 09:16 GMT

Lavoisel is right, the best to do is to tell to people you would like to speak french. As said Lavoisel, people enjoy speaking with an english native speaker who would like to speak french. It happened to me sometimes in G Britain, some people were talking to me in English and i responded to them in english.

Another reason is because at scholl, teachers tell you english is very important and is getting more and more importance in the world so, students want to use english because of its benefits.
Damian   Monday, October 25, 2004, 10:08 GMT
Thank you Nic and Lavoisel. I take on board what you say and I appreciate your time and trouble.

You may find this link interesting, taken from the "Daily Telegraph" 25 Oct 04:

I have to scan as many newspapers as I can each day and I just can't resist posting any language links in here in the hope (vain?) that it may be of interest to some people. ;-)