I will wait you
Shanghai, 13th November 2013
As I write my blog I am up in the air on my way back from Shanghai to Singapore.
Language is always a challenge when you travel and do projects with project teams from all over the world and while we always think of our challenges as to getting ourselves understood, spare a thought for your counter part or local project team member who is trying to communicate to you in his best possible ways. I have a lovely contact in Shanghai who is a project manager in two of my projects and while we can make ourselves understood generally both ways the translations or understandings are at times hilarious. We both take it in our good strides as in the end we both strive to make the project as successful as we can. Here are some examples:
-“I wait you be there”-
Now this can mean several things: “I will wait for you until you arrive” (likely) or “He will wait for me until I am there”. The problem being; is he already there or is he on the way?
-“luggage driver will give you handle”
This is a tough one…”The driver will help me with my luggage?” or “the driver will bring my luggage”. I don’t think he means that the driver will bring me a handle
-“Martin did we meet today?”
I think he wants to know whether we are supposed to meet today, I don’t think he is that far gone that he forgot whether we met or not
-“I will coming around before 9am to caught you”
A sweet attempt to let me know that he will pick me up at 9am
This is just a short summary of my last 24 hrs communicating with him. At least when we talk directly I can probe along the way to make sure I get it right. Likewise I spare a thought for him as he tries to decipher my English in comprehensible words and actions. We get along great, I love his efforts to communicate and I look forward to our newest project together!
Light Watch 4-194: As part of my presentation at PLDC I had some extracts from emails sent to me by Chinese manufacturers, here is a classic one: