29 MARCH 1940, Page 15

A second, and less surmountable, difficulty is the problem of

language. It is always irritating to be unable to speak or understand a foreign language, and human beings are apt to become loud and angry when faced by incomprehension or labouring under incomprehensibility. This difficulty also causes embarrassment in officers' messes, and there is often a tendency to conceal shyness under a cloak of conviviality which French officers do not always fully understand. In the hope of meeting this difficulty Messrs. Sidgwick and Jackson have issued a laudable little phrase-book entitled Soldier's Speak-Easy. It contains many useful phrases and vocabularies in which the French and German versions are given in phonetic spelling. Many of these phrases are mild enough:—"Zhay pairrdii ung bootong. Vuryayzavvwahr l'ahmahbeeleetay der mer ler rerkoodre." Others are of greater urgency: —" Oo ser troov ler dooble vay say? Oh premyay aytahzh oh fong dil koolwahr." And others are so extremely menacing and immediate that I doubt whether even the most nimble private soldier could find the neces- sary phrase in time : —" Gay-en zee forr meer, hairy, oont behulten zee eereh hendeh hokh." But it is a laudable attempt.