21 July 2008

The joy of recruitment

We are currently looking for an au pair to replace the wonderful Aussie nanny who has been looking after our girls for the past 10 months or so. The process of finding a new au pair has not been without its frustrations given that all we want is a Mary Poppins on the minimum wage...

One of the more important criteria is reasonably good English skills - important for both the twins' language development and ability to communicate clearly in case of an emergency - as well as just not being plain annoying. One hapless candidate on a job website decided (it would seem) to use an automatic translation service to provide the English version of her French description of herself. The French reads, perfectly fluently:

"Je m'appelle [nom] , j'ai 20 ans. J'ai passé mon bac en juin. Ensuite j'aimerais faire infirmière. J'ai 2 grands frères qui ont à eux 2 , 5 enfants agés de 2 à 9 ans. J'aime m'occuper d'eux. Je fais également beaucoup de baby-sitting. je pense passer mon permis cet été. je suis responsable, sérieuse, bavarde, patiente, attentive, sympathique... j'aime lire, faire du shopping, écouter de la musique, voyager, sortir avec mes amis, découvrir beaucoup de choses... je suis non fumeuse !"

However, the English turned out to be not quite so comprehensible:

"My name is [name], I am 20 years old. I crossed my receptacle in June. Then I would like to make nurse. I have 2 elder brothers them with 2, 5 agés children from 2 to 9 years old. I like to be in charge them. I make also a lot of babysitting. I think cross my licence this summer. I am responsible, serious, patient, attentive, nice talkative I like to read, to make of the shopping, to listen to music, to travel, to go out with my friends, to discover many things I am not smoky!"

If I thought her spoken English was that good, she could have had the job, just for the constant comedy value...

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