Thursday, December 3, 2009
When we got here they asked us to teach American English, which pissed me off a bit. I mean, colour, favourite, centre, right? Well, always being the model employee that I am, I obliged and kept my mouth shut (except for the times where I wanted to talk, eat, drink and you know, breathe and stuff). Whatever, today I get to elementary school and I have to teach English words that the Japanese use in everyday life but massacre. In Japan, a radio is a ra-jio. A TV is a terebi. A lemon is a remon. And salad is saladaa. So yeah, I’m going through the flash cards and then I get to ‘Parfait’... as in parfait the dessert. Well I first said ‘par-fay’ like a dumb American trying to speak French. The next flash card was ‘Gratin’. So I said gratin like an American tourist walking around Paris and acting fancy (with ‘tin’ pronounced like in ‘tin foil’). And then I realized what I was doing. I was denying my roots, yo! Parfait and gratin are French and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna teach them the wrong thing to say. So I came back to those two French flash cards and I said: ‘Look, when you say parfait and gratin, you actually say it better than the Americans, so please, never ever ever change that’. And then I made the flash cards into giant paper planes and threw them out the window. It was a beautiful moment. I felt very liberated, like a girl taking off her bra (Not that I would know how that feels because… you know, I would never wear a bra… except on half moon, Tuesdays and the 2nd and 3rd Mondays of every month).