'DON'T SIP THAT SOUP, AND ALSO...'
While an evening with Daniel Applebaum may include being picked up in a shiny
Pathfinder, dinner at an upscale Toronto restaurant and front-row seats to The
Lion King or a Maple Leafs game, he'll also treat you to a crash course in
The 31-year-old private English teacher launched a service in early March called
"An Evening with Daniel Applebaum." He targets groups of foreign visitors who
come to Toronto on business, and, along with entertainment, instructs clients on
the art of conversation and the subtleties of Canadian customs. "Most clients
already have a basic knowledge of English, but they don't know Canadian slang,
idiom or culture," he says. "If they're doing business in Canada, that stuff is
He says some clients don't know, for example, that sipping soup through their
teeth isn't an acceptable practice in North America, though it is elsewhere in the
world. He also says many clients initially have difficulty adapting to the relaxed,
more familiar way people greet each other in Canada.
And although Applebaum does sometimes use an electronic translator to
communicate with his clients, he says most foreigners prefer to struggle through
in English without help. "That's when I have to play charades or use my acting
skills," says Applebaum.
For a night out on the town, he charges anywhere from $100 to $500, depending
on the event: often, the bill is paid by local companies doing business with the
visiting client. "It's more about learning how to act comfortably in this country than
about learning prepositions and adverbs," says Applebaum. "A lot of my clients
love that they learn a Canadian accent."
By Tanya Marisse
Source: Maclean's, 04/02/2001, Vol. 114 Issue 14, p14, 1p