Simon Willison’s Weblog

Learning a language behind bars is a good way to meet foreign nationals and hear interesting stories about their lives back home and how they ended up doing porridge. I learnt a bit of Spanish with a 70 year-old Columbian grandfather who’d hit hard times and tried to bring a suitcase full of cocaine through Heathrow. He didn’t speak a word of English before jail and had learnt it all from the Cockney geezers on the wing. As a result he didn’t understand basic outside world vocabulary such as ‘traffic cone’ or ‘coat hanger’, but he did talk about ‘avin a bubble with his china plates’

Carl Cattermole

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