TEXT OF STORY
SCOTT JAGOW: This week, Patricia Russo becomes the only American CEO of a blue-chip French company, the telecom firm Alcatel. But the French already have a beef with her: Russo says she won’t be learning their language. In France, that’s kinda like saying you enjoy kicking puppies. We now present The Marketplace Players:
FRENCHMAN: Mademoiselle Russo!
FRENCHMAN: Stop talking. Now, you are here to learn how not to anger ze French, oui? So you can — how do you say? — “Stop kicking your foot inside of your mouth.”
FRENCHMAN: Bon. First we do word association. Par example: I say “Jerry Lewis” and you say?
FRENCHMAN: Non! In France you say “genius.”
FRENCHMAN: Madame, we do not have all week to explain such things! Jerry Lewis?
FRENCHMAN: Bon. McDonald’s.
RUSSO: Uh, french fries.
FRENCHMAN: Non — you say “Hell hole.” Iraq?
FRENCHMAN: Ah! On this we agree. Maginot Line?
RUSSO: World War T–
FRENCHMAN: Non! If someone says “Maginot Line,” you say nothing.
FRENCHMAN: Maginot Line.
[ LONG SILENCE ]
FRENCHMAN: Bon! You are a quick pupil. Come back tomorrow, we learn more.
RUSSO: Thank you, Jay-queeze.
RUSSO: Mm. One last thing: How do I say, “I don’t like wine, I’d prefer a Coca-Cola?”
FRENCHMAN: Ah you say. “Pardonnez-moi, je suis un chien Americain. Je ne comprends pas rien.”
[ Translation: Forgive me, I’m an American dog, I don’t understand anything. ]
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