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Collecting humorous stories

 
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Luke Zimmermann



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 26
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:31 am    Post subject: Collecting humorous stories Reply with quote

Over the last 10 years I have been collecting anecdotes and examples of mistakes non-native speakers have made in the process of learning and using English as a second language. It keeps me sane during the sometimes endless marking sessions.

Would you like to share your funny stories? here are some examples of Arabish I collected in the Middle East:

If we don’t recycle paper, the trees will despair. (disappear)

Studies have to be started to see where the poverty is. Then, it helps unrich people to run small businesses.

My favorite hobby is drowning. I liked drowning when I was a child.

New Zeland is an island that is located in the specific ocean.


And an anecdote at a hairdresser in the Middle East: Arab speakers tend to use the word ‘too’ instead of ‘very’, in fact, the same as speakers from South America. “I love my family too much.” They don’t realise that the word ‘too’ has a negative meaning. It is more than you want or are comfortable with. An employer decided to check a reference on the resume of an applicant and phoned the previous employer. When she asked about the applicant’s performance in the previous job, she was told: “She is too good. I like her too much.” One day I went to a hairdresser. He was Syrian and spoke very little English, so it was difficult to explain how I wanted to have my hair cut. He did the sides with number 3 clippers and then changed it to a number 4. Before I could say anything he had started cutting the top of my hair with the clippers, and it was too short for my liking. However, it was also too late to change it, so I just let it go. At the end he asked me: “You like?” I replied: “No, I don’t like it. It’s too short.” Undisturbed he said: “Yes too short, very good.” He then charged me too much for the haircut, so I never went back.

I hope you enjoyed these and would like to share your stories.

Luke Zimmermann
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emile



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 144
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It's terrible to meet you"

-That wasn't in class, I heard this in real life!

"We can help you to distress your employees"

-From a brochure, the company was offering relaxation classes

"May I sh*t here?"

-pronunciation!






www.roadtogrammar.com
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Clare James ELT



Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Funny learner errors Reply with quote

I was quite surprised by a very polite Japanese student of mine. He wanted to leave the class early and when I asked him why, he announced ' I am going, b*tch'. I worked out afterwards that he was off to the beach.

The same student, living in Portsmouth, had picked up what he thought was an nice idiomatic greeting and asked people 'How do you mate?' Eventually I persuaded him that 'How are you mate?' and 'How do you do?' didn't really go together well.

Still, I've done worse things when speaking French or Italian.

www.eltgames.com
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JeremyintheCzechRep



Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Czech Republic

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: English proverbs Reply with quote

Asked to write a short text to illustrate an English proverb, one Egyptian student wrote about the difficulties he had meeting girls. But, on a Thursday afternoon, if you're lucky, under the tree next to the chemistry department there are sometimes some girls sitting there and you can talk to them. Which just goes to show: Where there's a willy, there's a way.

Jeremy
http://www.jeremytaylor.eu
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Luke Zimmermann



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 26
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool stories. Thanks.

Here's another one with spelling errors and can be used to show students why spell checks are not full-proof. I live in the UAE where spelling is a major challenge. In the introduction to an essay on the conservation of water, one wrote: "Water is a problem in the UAE because there is always a lake of water." (lack of). In the same essay six points were made: "Firstly, secondly, ....and Sexily".

These examples are great to use in class to get a point accross. Be sure to do it in a way so you don't embarrass anyone. Your main aim is to help your students to avoid making the same mistakes and avoid embarrassment.

For more ideas and examples, there's an article in the Modern English Teacher of October 08.
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Brian



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 111
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Bangkok, there are comedy errors to be read everywhere.

For example, I've seen a menu offering 'crap soup' (crab soup)
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Danielprice



Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:40 am    Post subject: Funny stories Reply with quote

Hi.

Are you looking for funny short stories?

Try this: http://www.funnyshortstories.net/
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