Stick 'Em Up? How Do You Mean?

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From the annals of true crime tales comes the English-speaking robber who attempted to knock over a restaurant... and found that everyone there spoke only Spanish. They couldn't understand what he was attempting to do.


Americans can be famously stubborn about refusing to learn a foreign language. This week James Adams of Muncie, Indiana, may have learned the hard way how the study of a foreign language can enhance your life, education and even commercial opportunities. Muncie police say that Mr. Adams walked into the Puerto Vallarta Mexican restaurant and cantina in town, pretended that he had a gun and ordered an employee to open the cash register. But the employee spoke only Spanish, didn't quite know what Mr. Adams was saying. Another employee knew, but pretended he also didn't speak English, while a third discreetly opened his cell phone and called the police. James Adams has been charged with robbery. If convicted, he might want to enroll in a prison language class and learn at least a few strategic Spanish phrases like `Dar mi su dinero.'

Coming up, Corky Siegel communicates the language of blues to classical music lovers, and vice versa. `Escucha.' And stay tuned.

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