Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 3 July 2008

DUKWs OK; Canuck French "difficult"


Perhaps not all Canadians would agree but one of the country's major attractions is the way it distinguishes itself from Big Brother south of the border - by ensuring French is omni-present. Though it didn't exactly work out the way I expected.

In the seventies, with time to kill in Montreal, I took a city tour in a DUKW (called "duck" in Britain) an amphibious military vehicle used in WWII.

Being a smarty-boots I didn't let on about my nationality, thinking I could busk the commentary. That was a mistake. From the moment the guide pronounced the city's name - Mawn-ray-orl - I knew I was in trouble. If I understood five per cent that would be over-stating it. My French has improved but I still think I would struggle if I went back.

The reason for the DUKW became apparent when it suddenly plunged down a ramp and continued the tour afloat in the harbour. A nice touch that. Though whether I'd have felt like that arriving at Omaha Beach in the same vehicle is another matter.

Note: The pic isn't a DUKW (the door opening beneath what would be the waterline blows the gaffe straight away) but partially resembles one. Will do better next time.

1 comment:

Plutarch said...

And one day he looks up and sees an aeroplane!