Saturday, 1 February 2014

foreign language students

Vol 15 Foreign language students


Unless you rate me as a particularly poor English teacher, and who could blame you; bar one, these are not my own mistakes but I hope you’ll let me off.

I’ll start with my own perfectly forgivable mistake which, if you remember from before, relates to my thinking in syllables rather than proper words like normal people. 

This was a sunny afternoon while caravanning in Southern France, and, as we know, although they are perfectly well able to understand us, they unreasonably insist on us at least trying to speak French whilst in actual France.  So, it was that I appeared in a charming little gift shop by the sea politely requesting to purchase a horse.

“Comment?” enquired madam, wide eyed.

“A HORSE,” I repeated, perhaps she was deaf.

“Plastique?” she frowned.  What?  Crazy woman!

“NON!”  I cried, I wanted a horse to shade my daughter’s head from the sun.    I left soon after, indignant until with some pain, I recalled that it was chapeau that my addled brain required, not cheval, a very different animal.


Gergey was from Hungary and cut short his visit unfortunately concluding that England had nothing to offer him.  Over lunch one afternoon, myself at work, he demanded of my husband,

“I want to see the bitch!” 

“Now, steady on … “ protested himself.

“No, I must!”  somewhat agitated, “I WILL see the bitch before I go home!”.

And see it he did, at Southport.


Fabian was an adult French exchange, student since our nearest town is twinned with Angers, who came for a month and stayed a year. 

“I have a question,” he announced out of the blue and we braced ourselves, “what is cock?”

“Okay,” breathed Tony quickly, “it’s a male chicken, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark …” said he, weakly attempting a paltry impression, but Fabian grimaced unsatisfied.

“Right, where were you when you said this?” from me, hoping for a context.

“The Avenue pub, after the football it very busy, I said to the barman  – I would like to have one cock please.”

Presumably that wasn’t with ice and lemon.


Takashi was a Japanese student that stayed with us for an academic year.  One evening, over dinner he incited us to check out his pipe. Eh? we regarded each other.

“Look, look,” he urged, “can you see my pipe?” wondering whether he was referring to his veins but not really wanting to find out, we let that one go. 

Soon after this, while watching Corrie, Takeshi politely asked of me;

“When will Tony be ejaculating?”

Not a small amount of spluttering occurred before Takeshi indicated the rolls of wallpaper and paste in the spare room innocently wondering when my husband would be getting round to ejaculating the house.  No mean feat.