Thursday, December 06, 2007

A selection of quotes

Living in an English speaking environment in China can be very frustrating. At the same time, it can have some hilarious moments. Sometimes students just don't throw out the word you were expecting them to throw out, something doesn't quite translate, or people are just much more candid than you expect. Here is a selection of some things that I have heard here in China. The names with an asterisk (*) belong to Chinese people.

"You're the same as last year, cute and huge. So huge! I only come up to your lungs." - Wind*

"Man, we learned a lot of English from that movie. Like 'Kill the Japs!'" - Jakie*

"Who's under that blanket?" -David*
"Brian. Or else three Chinese people." -Angelyn

"He's so tall! He must never get cold." - Christina* talking about me

"In English, how do you say a head with no head?" - Zoe*

- text message from Happy Guy*

"Egad! His car is a very expensive sports car and yours is so ugly! I know... you pay him $5000 or........ I will beat you." - student* performing an improv skit in my class

"It's like a furnace!" - Willie* after warming her hands on the top of my head

"You're a bad boy! As your publishment, you must carry me down the hill." - Jacob* (he meant punishment)

"I'll be there on Saturday."
"Okay, so we'll stay here a few days and meet you in your hometown on Saturday."
"Okay. I still haven't bought the tickets yet. I'll be there Sunday."
"What? Is it Saturday or Sunday?"
"Okay, we'll be in your hometown on Sunday."
"Okay! See you Monday!"
- Orange* trying to tell me when she could meet us

"Dude! Duderonomy! You're a crazy white dude!" - Jakie*

"Later player." - Sean*

"My name is Fish because I like Fish." - Fish*

Of course, funny quotes work in reverse. Like the morning I asked a Chinese friend if she wanted to "eat a muffin" and discovered that "mafen" in Chinese means horse poop. Or that "right turn" sounds suspiciously like "monster" and the day my friend wanted to say "I would like an iced drink" and instead said "I killed a soldier." Yay for language!


Grams said...

You could write a book!!!

Ashley said...

Those are great! Thanks for making me laugh! I have a similar language story: In Prague once I was trying to order lentil soup in Czech. I got one letter of the word wrong, however, and ended up asking for "cat soup." The waitress thought that was hilarious.

- Ashley Sides (Angelyn's brother)