Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fun With ESL

In my years teaching English as a second language, it was always amusing some the creative ways that students found to butcher the language. Don't get me wrong, none of the teachers I worked with would ever have dared to laugh at a student's mistake to their face—to do so would be belittling of them—but in the office grading a large stack of tests, it was often difficult not to laugh at some of the absurd sounding statements. Here's a small sampling of the sort of things we would often see:

"The penis on the table."
(Note to student: word spacing is very important!)

"Five years ago, I operated my uterus."
(Did it come with an instruction manual?)

"We had an erection last week in Lao."
(Hopefully for you, you'll be able to have another one.)

"I often sleep with my father."
(Eeeehhhh…OK….moving on…)

"After school, I go to my house friend."
(I was once on speaking terms with some lumber, but never friends with a house.)

"On the corner there is a bank where you can get a good haircut."
(Talk about full service!)

"A waitress services the customers."
(What kind of restaurant is this?)

"After school, I'm going somewhere with my friend to do anything."
(Thanks for nailing that down for me.)

Of course, my attempts to speak Lao often led to gales of laughter, but that's a whole different story…

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