Wow it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these huh? To be honest, there haven’t been as many “I’m going to knock you up!” moments so they haven’t stood out as much. There was something about that vocab class that just bred silliness. Anyways, I digress and let me get back to this instalment of Sh*t My Students Say.
I completely understand that certain English words may sound very similar to words in other languages, such as German or French. Sometimes, students directly translate and although most of the time it’s harmless, it can at times be hilarious. Here’s what I overheard a student said…
Hey man, could you lend me a rubber?
For context, I was born and raised in Canada and although we use British spelling, we pretty much use American expressions. From what I’ve learned from culture, a rubber is a condom… You can see why I was curious as to what he really was asking for. After doing a quick Google search and inquiring of the student, I realized he meant an eraser. I briefed him about what rubber stands for colloquially and I could see him think for a moment and then suddenly realize how embarrassing it could have possibly been… in another situation or context.
So the next time you decide to directly translate… check the urban dictionary or Google just to be certain 😉