• A Very Therapeutic Solution - 801 votes
  • November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

    Category: Language & Words

    Rated Awww

    | London, England, UK | Coworkers, Language & Words

    (I’m Irish, everyone else in the room is British. We are stepping through a complicated calculation checking for errors. Each row of the calculation is labelled alphabetically.)

    Me: “There’s an error in row R.” *describes error*

    Coworker #1: “Which row?”

    Me: “Row R.” *describes error again*

    Coworker #2: “Sorry which row did you say?”

    Me: “Row R!”

    (All look confused, looking a each other.)

    Me: “Row R!” *pointing and wondering how I can say it any more clearly*

    Coworker #3: “Oh! It’s Irish for ‘Awww’!”

    Everyone: “Oh! ‘Awww!'” *laughter*

    Me: “…”

    (That’s when I learned that English people pronounce the letter ‘R’ without making the sound ‘R’ actually makes!)

    You Kanji Be Serious

    , | UK | Coworkers, Language & Words

    (I’m chatting to a coworker before we swap over.)

    Coworker: “Are you still at college? I heard you were studying Japanese.”

    Me: “Yes. I’m really enjoying it.”

    Coworker: “Don’t they have like 12 alphabets?”

    Me: “Three.”

    Coworker: “Oh… so, have they got more words than us?”

    Me: “…”

    Doesn’t Have The Language For The Shapes

    | England, UK | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (In our workplace we do various jobs, one of which involves putting metal letters together for stamping initials onto leather. This colleague isn’t known for his intelligence…)

    Colleague: “I hate doing that job.”

    Other Colleague: “Really? Why?”

    Colleague: “I just can’t deal with all the shapes man.”

    Other Colleague: “What shapes?”

    Colleague: “All the ‘A’s and the ‘B’s and ‘M’s and that. It’s just too much for me.”

    Married To The Job

    | Denver, CO, USA | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (I am a receptionist at a bank.)

    Me: *answering phone* “Good morning! This is Banker’s Life!”

    (Next call.)

    Friend: “Good morning! This is Banker’s Life!”

    (Next call.)

    Friend: “Good morning! This is the banker’s wife! Um… oh, dear!”

    Stuff The Translation

    | Japan | Coworkers, Language & Words, Lazy/Unhelpful, School

    (I’m an American working as an assistant language teacher in Japan. I work with multiple JTEs, or Japanese teachers of English, in teaching English at junior high schools. I’m not allowed to speak Japanese during English class, so many JTEs take it upon themselves to translate my words for me when the students absolutely cannot understand and make repeated incorrect guesses. One particular JTE, however, is adamant about never translating for me, even when the students become so confused that the lesson cannot progress. This has been going on for a couple of months when this lesson takes place. The Japanese are, as a whole, very strict in terms of cleanliness and preventing the spread of germs and sickness.)

    Me: *holding up a stuffed animal* “This is a dog!”

    Students: *in Japanese, to one another* “That’s not a dog. That’s a toy.”

    Me: “Correct! This is a stuffed animal. It LOOKS like a dog, but it isn’t a dog. What does “stuffed” mean in Japanese?”

    (The students give various guesses.)

    Me: “I’ll give you a hint.” *I rub my stomach* “Mmmm, I’m so stuffed!” *I place a bunch of books inside a basket and make a show of trying to squish them down to fit* “This basket is STUFFED with books!”

    (After several awkward minutes of me trying to make them understand and not succeeding, I glance desperately at the JTE. The students, too, look to the JTE for an explanation. The JTE pointedly looks away, and that’s when I’ve had enough.)

    Me: “Okay, fine.”

    (I take the grammar worksheet that the JTE has made, wad it into an enormous ball, and without hesitation stuff the whole thing into my mouth.)

    Students: “WHAAAAAT?”

    JTE: *nervously* “Um… hold on…”

    (I remove the ball, which has become a giant spit wad, and plonk it down onto the JTE’s desk, much to his utter horror.)

    Me: “Get it now? I STUFFED the paper into my mouth! My mouth is STUFFED with paper!”

    (Finally, it dawns on one of my students what I’m talking about.)

    Student: *in Japanese* “…stuffed?”

    Me: “YES! Thank you!”

    JTE: “Um…”

    Me: *already moving on to the next object* “Okay, next! What’s this?”

    (The lesson continues without further incident, except that the JTE keeps staring at the spit wad on his desk. After class gets out, I throw the spit wad away then kindly wipe down his desk to remove the traces of spit. Maybe next time he’ll translate for me.)

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