I had two sentences in French in my soon to be bestseller and wanted to make sure they were grammatically correct (I don’t speak French, so I used a computer translation program off the internet). I called up Berlitz; I figured they would be happy to help since I had taken a Spanish class there.
“Hi,” I said in what I thought was a cheerful voice. “I wrote a novel and have two sentences in French that I would like to make sure are correct. Would it be possible for me to get in touch with one of your French-speaking teachers? It would only take a minute or two.”
“There is no French teacher here,” the lady—and I say that generously—said to me in a huffy tone.
“I’m sorry, I thought you would have some French teachers.”
“We do. No one is here.”
“I don’t need to speak to anyone right away. I could email the person.”
“I’ll leave a message,” she said, and took my name and number. And that was the last I heard from Berlitz.
Screw em. Pimsleur Language is cheaper and comes on CDs.
Next up was Wheaton College. Billy Graham’s alma mater. The receptionist was very friendly and connected me to the foreign languages department. The call went to voicemail. I couldn’t catch the woman’s name, but she sounded very nice: “Leave a message and I will get back to you. And have a very blessed day.”
Have a veryblessed, day. Well, that certainly buoyed my hopes. I left a message with my name and number, and went to my local Starbucks feeling pretty, pretty good.
The Lord works in mysterious ways: Apparently God’s present-day disciple at Wheaton College’s foreign languages department had been a bit sarcastic when telling callers to have a “blessed day.” Excuse me, a “very blessed day.” I should have spoken in tongues when leaving my message. A gossodom ganu orangatanga boob alou shebang dinga dang a roo too doobah.
Or something to that effect.
Somehow I don’t think that would have worked either.
But thankfully, I found the “American Association of Teachers of French” and sent an email to their staff. Within ten minutes I received a reply that my email had been forwarded to the Director.
The Director—pretty, pretty important. In fact, on the organizational chart there is no one higher. And get this: exactly fifteen minutes later I received a reply. Now I have my French translation solved. Thank you, “American Association of Teachers of French.” Oh, and if you have a beef about teachers or the French, take it somewhere else. You won’t hear any complaints from me.
And one other thing: Have a blessed day.
You may contact the author at: authorwilliamcrawford@Gmail.com
A graduate of Northwestern, William Crawford began telling stories at the age of five to his cousins late at night while on family vacations in the Great North Woods. This quickly progressed—if you can call two decades quickly progressing— to political satire. In 1996 the author created a parody on the OJ Simpson saga; My Search for the Real Killer, not by OJ Simpson became a minor cult classic. The author’s real ambition was to become a novelist. Over the years he developed several storylines. Once he retired from his safety position in government he turned that ambition into reality. The result is the Floating Man, a mystery thriller that takes place in the past and present replete with psychosexual overtones and historical figures and events that are woven into a story of love, discovery, ambition, greed, death, and redemption.
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An amazing scientific discovery in 1830 leads to a government cover-up spanning two centuries and two continents, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. Replete with dark psychosexual overtones, the Floating Man is a mystery thriller that takes place in both past and present as fictional and historical characters collide.