Saturday, 3 June 2017
The Chinese publishing delegation from Inner Mongolia (London)
Back in the 80s, a Chinese publishing delegation from Inner Mongolia came to visit Linguaphone (who produce self-study language courses). They were bringing their own interpreter but Linguaphone asked me to attend the meeting all the same, just to check that their interpreter was translating things accurately.
The interpreter turned out to be an Englishman, who was visibly nervous to see me. After a brief pre-meeting chat, however, he discovered that we’d both been to SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), so he felt less intimidated. I assured him that I’d be happy to help out if he got stuck.
The delegation told Linguaphone that they were most interested in their English course, but they did not have any foreign currency with which to pay for the course. They wondered if they could pay with yak wool instead, as they had plenty of yaks in Inner Mongolia.