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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

'Things or other things'

A pal of mine teaches English As a Second Language here at the University in town. Every few years, she returns to China, to teach English, as she enjoys herself there. Not a small-bodied person, she is treated as a goddess of sorts there, as her girth is viewed as a sign of both wealth and health. Unlike what she encounters here.
Nonetheless, she finds their answers to certain essay questions funny, and sends them to me. Here are some selected responses to the question, "Describe the most interesting person you've ever met".
1. "I met two guys before. They are very funny. First one, she's name also called 'Funny'. I lives with her. She always forget something. So, I always remind her that things or other things. One day, when I remind her something, she is angry and yell to me. 'Don't Boring Me.' I shoked."
('I was shocked'? 'I choked'?)
2. "We went to Something Road. I heard that there are famous-sight and most people like Something Road. But I don't like there. The reason is that I have bad remember. I met interesting person when I walked to there. Interesting person is man. He has raider bicycle. That time, he touch my hip. I felt so so bad and I'm cried. I remember that felt still. It's terrible! I can't understand. So I'm interesting still now. If I meet that kind person I want to ask. Why did you do? Finally, he want to that too? I really wonder that."
(I've read a lot of these things, and I've noticed that 'hip' seems to mean 'ass'.)
3. "I think interesting person is my dog. She is not person. One day maybe she was really hungry. She was eating her dinner. She loves beef. If her meals is beef she can't hear anything. She watches only beef. Sometimes she's bad. She wants to my meals."
(I've also noticed the strange use of 'maybe' in a lot of these mostly Asian students' replies. It doesn't really mean 'maybe' as it is understood in English.)
4. "His name is Hwan Jan-Lon. I think he is a king of forgot everythings and doing everythings slowly. When the sir says maybe move your asses guys. It's time to stick together. Maybe he just finish his shower and he says what? Why so fast? This thing let all of my friends in the army feel he is a joke. Nevertheless, he's still my friend. At least, I think a man who is much stupid won't lie to you and it's better to be friends with him."
5. "In 1973, at that time I lived in Ulsan (my hometown) Samyong-Bae visited there. To meet him, I woke up early and went to the park. Many people were gardening there, so it looks like a cloud. I was standing in front of the stage. Mr. Bae came closer to me and asked me to shake hands. I was full of joy then because he was the most famous comedian in Korea. So I didn't forget that event."
(I love that thing about "...so it looks like a cloud", and it reminds me of 1977 in Lake Tahoe when Rich Little addressed me directly, sitting in the front row, unaware that my six-year-old self had been sitting there peeing my pants, unaware of how to find the bathroom unaccompanied, in a large casino.)
6. "My boss is best teacher. I ever met many person, but He's special, because he knows everything. He select me in my company member. I have to do my best. I want to succese (sic) in U.S. My boss too. My best teacher is him. I have to do his level. In future, I want to teach young man for look like him."
(That last one is the scariest one of all, if you ask me, since it sounds like he has a gun to his head.)
I have many, many more of these, on many topics. One includes the famous amount of rain we receive around here ("I don't have my white umbrella so I'm hungry"). They're all great, but I have so many that I can't include them all. What can I tell you? It's a fine opportunity for cheap laughs at the expense of those who do not currently speak English. A fair amount of what makes the assignments funny is misuse of tense, though a fair amount are just plain typoes, mixed with clumsy use of American slang (one of them described his disappointing morning meal as 'sucks breakfast'). The beautiful thing about it is, you can tell in almost all cases what they were trying to say.

5 Comments:

Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Those kick.

Sadly, though, I, too, have bad remember.

5:48 AM  
Blogger ScaryCheri said...

lol, I like #4...the rest is similar to how I felt after eating a $5 sugar cube some guy with dreadlocks gave me in the mid 90's.

7:56 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

And just imagine how stupid we'd all sound if we were in our first year at a Chinese university.

8:25 AM  
Blogger ScaryCheri said...

exactly...Oh my. I think that's what has kept me from learning a new language. I'm scared to death of sounding dumb. I'm always impressed with people who speak more than one language.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Morning-Loves-It said...

Lovely. Our Chinese guide in Beijing told us this particular speak is called 'Chinglish'

6:36 AM  

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