Welcome to another post in the Extr@ Watchalong Party! Today’s theme is jobs. We will learn how to apply for a job online, how to be restaurant servers, how to handle inappropriate bosses, and how to moan that we don’t earn enough money. If you have not yet seen this very educational episode, here are the links to watch it in German, French, Spanish, and even English.
“Ich brauche mehr Geld!”
Episode 4 is, story-wise, the most complex chapter so far. It weaves together two conflicts: Sasha needs a job and Sam won’t tell anyone he is a millionaire. He has been dropping hints since Episode 1 . . . but everyone just misunderstands him.
We also see a bit more romantic tension between Sam and Sasha. It’s adorable that Sam, who could buy Sasha an entire restaurant, decides to help her out by being a waiter. On the other hand, it’s a little strange that Sasha and Anna think the perfect job for him is one that requires the most language practice!
Sam’s server lessons with Nic also brought back memories of high school French class. I imagine that everyone who takes a foreign language in school has to perform a restaurant skit at some point!
“Ich habe gehört, dass Stefan ein Spitzname hat . . .”
I had hoped that all the versions would have the same actor playing the boss, the way the same actor plays Sam. But perhaps the sleazy boss stereotype looks different depending on the country. German Stefan and French Stefan don’t really wave red flags for me, but Spanish Sebastian — long ponytail, unbuttoned shirt, popped collar, and all — wins the sleazy boss contest just by walking through Sasha’s front door!
The bosses also say different things to Sam when they learn he is American. German Stefan mocks his accent. French Stefan brings up an unpopular US president. Sebastian also asks after “Mr. President,” but does not name him. I guess he didn’t need anything extra to make him unpleasant! I lived abroad during this president’s two terms and the Americanisms in my own speech made people ask whether I was American. Seeing how the Americans around me were being treated, I was always quick to say no!
In an odd twist, the English boss, with the very English name Howard, isn’t English at all! It must have been a deliberate choice, which makes me wonder. If you asked a British person to think of a stereotypical sleazy boss, would he immediately imagine a foreigner? And if so, which country would Howard most likely be from?
“Ich bin der Keller!”
A prediction: Sam will make at least one ridiculous but understandable vocabulary mistake in every episode. And some will be much worse than the others. So far, the best are from Episode 2, when he ordered the wrong groceries. (Link) And the worst are from this episode, where the mistakes don’t even make sense. In Extra Deutsch, for instance, he forgets “Nudelauflauf” (pasta casserole) and says “Pudelauflauf” (not even a real word). It’s just hard to believe that an American would mix up “Nudel” and “Pudel” when both sound exactly like their English equivalents. And when noodles and poodles don’t even look alike.
On the other hand, the mistake from Extra español — mixing up a “chuleta” (breaded porkchop) and a “chaqueta” (jacket) — seems more plausible. But I think “croqueta” would have been a better choice for the food word. We also get a bonus food joke when Sam serves Sebastian a pair of poached eggs and Sebastian compares them to . . . something. I can’t really make out what he says, but given the shape of the eggs, it’s probably rude!
I’ll let the French speakers and learners judge Sam’s mistake from Extra en français: instead of “poulet rôti” (baked chicken), he offers Nico “poubelle rôti” (baked rubbish bin).
But hands down, the worst of the lot is from Extra English, where Hector says “hotcat” instead of “hotdog.” I have so much trouble believing that any English learner could forget a word like “hotdog.”
What did you think of Extr@ Episode 4?
- Have you ever needed to use another language at work?
- What would a stereotypical sleazy boss look like in your country?
- If you were Sam/Hector’s host, what job would you recommend to him?
Next Week: Episode 5, A Star is Born
Extra en español
Extra en français