- Nephew, what major did you choose?
- English language and literature.
- My goodness… How on earth can that be useful? Everybody speaks English nowadays! (makes a face full of pity)
- First of all, it's not true that everybody speaks English.
- How is it not true? Take my Marija, for example. She speaks perfect English. She spoke with English people this summer! That's why she's studying Italian as a foreign language at Hospitality school.
- Good for her. How much do they charge for classes?
- Hey, don't be rude now. I'm just saying that it won't pay off because everybody speaks English nowadays.
- People also think they speak Serbian, and yet they still study it for twelve years in school. And they don't even speak Serbian, 90% of the population is functionally illiterate. And when you don't know your own mother tongue, you can't possibly know a foreign language any better. Second of all, nobody is born learned. People with training are needed to educate the population, your daughter with her Tourism degree certainly won't be teaching the subjunctive to anybody. Third of all, even when I finish my degree I myself still won't know English. I will only be equipped with the knowledge to begin to learn the language the way it ought to be learned, and that process continues till the day I die - let alone someone who only took a course in the UK!
- Alright dear, now don't get upset. All I'm saying is that you should have taken up Spanish…
Translated by Nina Pantelic, lecturer at Universidad Complutense de Madrid