Perish the thought. I have, though, just spent a grueling couple of hours sending off emails in various European languages in pursuit of reproduction rights for photographs to use in my book. (Yes, I am still trapped in Permissions Hell.) Not being able to speak any of these languages worth a damn, in spite of having faked my way through a European vacation with wife & kids, I am relying on Babelfish.
Heaven only knows what these missives look like to the university archivists of Paris, Rome, and Berlin. Some of the bloopers I catch
– I know that “pouvez vous m’aider à satisfaire?” is not quite right for “can you help me, please?” (though it might come in handy on a different occasion) — but there must be many I don’t.