Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today in Class: The Foreign Tongue

I love languages, and try to pick up a little from anywhere I go, or any culture that I am interested in. I've got half-way decent French (I mean, I could get around, with lots of pointing and miming to go with it), can ask about toilets and prices in Italian (what else do you need to know?), and greetings and common phrases in several other languages. Not much--it's just that language fascinates me, so I pick up on it more.


Kid 1: *whispers to Kid 2* I bet she can't.

Kid 2: *whispers back* Bet she can!

Me: Bet I can what?

Kid 1: Bet you can't say anything in French.

Me: Ah, oui! Je parle in Francais, et tu?

Kid 2: Oooooo!

Kid 1: Say something from Germany!

Me: Ich sprecken sie Deutsch.

Kid 2: Latin!

Me: Semper ubi, sub ubi.

Kid 1: Do you know anything from Japan?

Me: Ohiyo.

Kid 2: Say something from China!

Me: Nihao!

Kid 1: Can you say something from England?

Me: Wait--what?

Kid 2: OOoo, you got her! She doesn't know how speak from England!

Me: ...

Me: Seriously? I mean....seriously?

Kid 1 & Kid 2: *high five*


Abby Annis said...

Hilarious! :)

~Jamie said...

This kind of makes me want to go back to teaching again... almost :)

christine M said...

You should have told them "This way to the loo, mate." :)

I love the stories about your class!

lotusgirl said...

Oh my! Hilarious. I love your Latin. As I was reading it, I busted up laughing and my kids were so confused. I'm a language lover too. I guess you could probably tell that by what I studied in school.

Anonymous said...

Haha! Your stories from class are always favorites of mine. How long did it take them to figure it out after the high five?

sarahjayne smythe said...

I love this. It's stuff like this from kids that makes me stay a high school teacher when everything else seems to indicate I should find a new line of work. :)

Anonymous said...


This made me laugh out loud. Your students are hilarious. ;)

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

very, very funny!

Unknown said...

LOIS! I *so* figured you'd get my Latin joke!!! :) I also told them, "Taurus Merde."

Simon...I'm still not sure they've figured it out...

Cinnamon said...


Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

"from [insert name of country"? Really?

I think, as an educator, it might be incumbent on you to explain to kids that languages come with words. Because, apparently, their previous exposure to English didn't clear that up. Though how they escaped that knowledge, I couldn't guess.

Christina Farley said...

I must say I'm impressed. Very funny. My neighbors are British. They do have a language of their own. And so do the Aussies!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

If you are British enough, I think you qualify as a foreign language speaker. I've been beta-ing a British writer's story, that she wants to have set in America. I send her the translations:
Brit = American
cuff links = handcuffs (it was the police, people!)
filling station = gas station
break down truck = tow truck

Things I didn't know:
forecourt (the part of the gas station where you find the gas pumps)
fish slicer (spatula)

I love the Brits.

Heather Zundel said...

Oh my goodness. This has to be one of the best yet. No really, did they really think they duped you? By the way, what did you say in Latin?

Unknown said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Made my day : ) (I'm on vacation and am at the point where I am missing my students ridiculously)

Eric said...

I've been absent from stopping by, and man do I regret it. This is exactly what I've been missing. Thanks for the laugh, and sorry for not coming by more often.

Cat said...

> Kid 1: Say something from Germany!
> Me: Ich sprecken sie Deutsch.
Lucky for you the kids didn't speak any Germany, ey? ;-)
Just for the records, it's "Ich spreche Deutsch."
But I admire the fact that you know bits and snippets from so many languages.

Oh and up to the mid-1980s they really recorded entirely new language tracks for the British audience of American films. I know for sure because I have been to many of those.

Cat said...

Bolocks, I'm tired. Of course I meant they didn't speak German.
See that comes from being nit-picky about someone else's best effort.

Unknown said...

LOL, no worries, Cat!

And considering that and dankeshane and bidda and geizundheit are all I can say (and probably not spell), I really need to brush up on my German! I was much better at it when I was doing Old English translations, but those days are long gone, I fear...