Mar 24, 2011

"crap" and other fine english words.

So, in one of the most random occurrences of the century, one of my dear Chi.nese friends that I have known for 2 years happens to be my listening teacher this semester.

I know, weird.

We have turned around what could have been a super awkward experience into a super fun one. She is a student at my university and was hired on as a teacher to the foreign students as a part time job. Just by happen-chance, my class ended up being one of her 4 classes. It's cool though because we have been able to grow even closer and we get to have lunches together twice a week when I have her class, Mondays and Thursdays.

Today a trio of us were having lunch and Tingting (my friend/teacher) told me a story.

Last week in class, Tingting taught us some Chin.ese slang, "da jiang you," or "add soy sauce." This is used to express that something doesn't have to do with you or something you don't care about.

In class a few people were not understanding Ting's explanation in Chin.ese. So I hollered out, "it means you don't give a crap."

"Ohhhhhhh," people sighed in understanding. And then class moved on.

Well, apparently, Ting decided to teach the same slang phrase to another class and they weren't understanding her either. She said in English, "it means you don't give a crap," and the class uproared in laughter (remember, one class is made up of dozens of countries - most of whom English is not their first language, so they are learning their 3rd or 4th language using their 2nd or 3rd language - crazy).

She asked them why the strong response and someone translated "I don't give a crap," back into Chin.ese for her...but instead, they translated it as, "I don't give a shi*t."

She was stunned that she had said this in class, and then was stunned that I had said this in class! Today she wanted to ask me what the difference between "crap" and "sh*t" is and if it is ok for girls to say, "crap."

My friend and I explained that "crap" is not really a nice word. But, if you are around friends and have a good relationship with them, it is not offensive. It is not something to say to your boss, grandparents, or teachers, but it is ok among friends in the right context.

Translations are funny. One sentence got translated a few too many times and ended up with a different meaning than intended.

I love Ting. We have so much fun learning slang. This week I've taught her, "cutie-patootie," "skanky," and "peace-out." ("skanky," came from when we were trying to figure out another person in the cafeteria was from what Asian country. I said I thought she was Chi.nese, but Ting said she was wearing too few clothes to be Chi.nese, she must be Thai. "True, I responded, she does look too skanky to be Chin.ese." And thus a new vocabulary word was born.

In other news:

The upcoming graduates are marching around campus taking pictures in their robes. I can't help but think to myself, "3 more years Jessica and that is you...just 3 more and you get that cool robe...just three more and they'll be calling you doctor..."

Three more years.

That's a whole lot of time for new vocabulary words. ;)

walk slow. xoxo.

1 comment:

JGrine said...

hahaha Dr. Griner.

remember that time mom let you measure pepper for a recipe, and we couldn't eat it because it was so potent from your wrong measurements....hahahahaha