Monday, December 19, 2005

an anecdote from teaching

So this is from last week, but I thought I would share it with you guys...
Last week I decided to teach my intermediate class about similies. I brought out my Norah Jones Cd and used the song ¨Turn me on¨ which is just full of similies. We discussed in class the grammar of similies, and the function of similies, and we listened to the song. After listening a few times, we were discussing the song and I had to explain the very to turn (someone) on. I am friends with most of my students and on the weekends we go out so this was not as difficult or wierd as could have been. One of the ladies in the class named Myriam who is young and pretty and so much fun to hang out with just could not understand the concept. One of the more advanced students in the class who honestly hangs out with the guy teachers too much, introduced the word ¨horny¨ and had my wonderful Myriam saying, Ï´m horny¨I was dying! I was trying to get control of the classroom and to explain that Myriam should not be saying that. She asked me why and I told her that it is vulgar. She laughed and thought it was so sweet that she had learned a dirty word in the classroom! Later, the same advanced student who had introduced the word told me that the translation in spanish of Ï´m horny¨is ¨estoy caliente¨ Yeah... you see in English we say I am hot, to mean that I feel the temperature is too warm. BUT in spanish you say ¨hace calor¨, for that, NOT ¨estoy caliente¨! So I can only imagine what the people thought of me my first few months I was here when I was too warm and declared proudly in Spanish, Ëstoy caliente!¨
The moral of the story, don´t listen to Norah Jones in the classroom and don´t assume that you can just do a pure translation of English to Spanish.

No comments: