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Sunday, December 5, 2010

I want to jump, teacher! & Mama, open the tv. (Series of amusing literal translation- Part 1)

Salam,

I reckon most of us who are using English as our second language (or third or fourth), stumble upon difficulties to use the correct terms especially when we translate some terms or words literally from L1 (our first language). I myself sometimes commit some mistakes too though I'm an English teacher. Based on my 7 years of teaching English, I've come across many amusing literally translated words, terms or phrases. There are also some examples of amusing terms that my daughters always use.

  1. I want to jump, teacher!
          My students in ELS language centre usually use this phrase when they ask me to promote them to another level. I and also some other teachers can't help ourselves but to reply "Sure. Why don't you jump out of the window!". Only after that response, they realize that it is wrong to use the word "jump" in the context. Then, I always give the correct phrases like "Can I be promoted to the next level, teacher?" or "Can I be bumped up to the next level?".
  
     2.  He/She is long.
      
          One of the genres in writing component is Descriptive writing. As most of them go to ELS with minimal knowledge in English, their writing skills are usually quite weak. The teachers even have to start teaching from the punctuations (full stop, comma, capital letters) before moving on to sentence structures. So, the sentence of  "He/She is long" is a normal sentence that some of them use to say "He/She is tall". 

     3.  The tyre has no wind.

          This might sound familiar right? I remember one of my ex-students in USM used the sentence when he was presenting a speech. I didn't stop him when he made the mistake because I need to give more marks on the content rather than just the grammatical errors or mistakes. Only after everybody finished presenting, I highlighted some common and amusing mistakes. So, "the tyre has no wind" should be changed to "the tyre is flat". 

     4.  Mama, open the tv please.

          Fathini and Hafizah always forget to use the correct phrase which is "Mama, please switch on the tv". Every time they say "Open the tv, please", my response is "I can't open it because I don't know how to repair or use screw drivers to open it". They normally laugh at their own mistake and I reckon sometimes they purposely make the same mistake just to tease me.

Well, I have to stop here for now since I plan to write about this as a long series and also I have to recall first of more amusing literal translation that I have come across. Hope this series will also help those who read to not repeating the same mistakes.


source: GOOGLE

13 comments:

kakyong said...

learning english is Fun...

teringat masa zaman belajar BI semasa di matrik dulu.. Sir Zahrin (my English teacher) kdg2 akan buat drama-play utk penguasaan bahasa...

transformed housewife said...

sy pun suka suruh students berlakon atau buat role play utk bg diaorg faham.

Fid said...

llaaaaa saya ingat nak jump sungguh2 apa kes nak jump rupanya nak 'lompat' kelas bagai hahahahahha

Fid said...

dulu anak saya cakap open the TV saya taya nak open top cover ke lower case ke....cermin kah...dia nangis hahahahah

yatie chomeyl said...

open the fan please, it's hot here hehehe

mila.ibunajihah said...

hehe..thanks kak nur. sy agak lemah juga BI ni,sy bleh guna BI sbb membaca je, klu nak suh tulis karangan perfect tanpa grammatical mistakes mmg kantoi la..hehe..

Nia said...

alamak, teringat masa sekolah dulu panggil air gula, 'sugar water',..patutnya syrup.hehe..

Jemput join kak
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transformed housewife said...

Fid- tu ada yg mcm2 lg. cuma nak kena ingat balik apa yg students guna.

transformed housewife said...

Tie- Tini & Fizah sokmo guno tu. tok cekak peringat hok betul.

transformed housewife said...

MIla- it's never too late to start from now. Mcm belajar benda lain jugak, kena selalu guna baru pandai.

transformed housewife said...

Nia- insyaallah akk join nanti.

dbalkis said...

k.nur..wat la sesi camni slalu..at least mak budak, bapak budak pun boleh recall..hehe

Hanz said...

hehehe..seronok jugak bila dengar simple things people can make mistake sebab me pun kadang2 boleh terbuat silly mistake cenggitu

err..k.nur istialh..sky juice wujud ker?ramai bebenor orang suka guna phrase ni..:D