The European Parliament Building in Strasbourg, December 2005The internet is a wonderful thing, but the reality is sometimes it makes us lazy. Having since discovered this great site called Worldlingo, which has a cunning auto-translate facility, I’ve been cockily ‘writing’ all sorts of things in French.

Last night this backfired a little though when my landlord responded to a letter I had written to him – in person.

Writing in French is one thing Рbut speaking and understanding spoken French is an entirely different matter. So there he stood, at the threshold to our flat, parley-ing Fran̤ais at a speed and expecting me to understand what the hell he was going on about.

Lesson learned. Next time I shall add to the end of my letter – “Veuillez répondre dans l’écriture” (please respond in writing).