Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A stolen joke

I was helping kids in the orphanage with their English homework yesterday, and I came upon this funny story, which I will retell as best as I remember it. Sorry for the lack of citation…I will try to get the name of the textbook later.

An Englishman in Germany on business visits a certain café regularly. As he begins his meal, a German man comes in, also on his lunch break, and greets him with “Mahlzeit!” The Englishman replies “Taylor.” The German man smiles and walks away and the Englishman resumes eating.

The next day, the same thing happens. And the next. Finally, the Englishman remarks to an acquaintance, “Why do the Germans always greet me with their last name, even when we have already met?” read the rest/-

“What do they say?” asks the acquaintance. “Mahlzeit.”
“That means ‘enjoy your meal!’"

The next day, the Englishman arrives at the café and the German is already eating lunch.

“Mahlzeit!” the Englishman pronounces.
“Taylor!” replies the German.

A similar thing happens to me sometimes when am teaching English. I have to avoid extra words, or I will be misunderstood. For example, if you turn to a pupil and use a direction such as “Say ‘my name is….,” they will repeat that exact phrase. And then you have to correct them and specify that they need only the second part of the phrase. And then they think that you have given them two variations of the same thing. So it’s best to think this through in advance.

Sometimes the world is such a confusing place! But humorous, nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. V...................October 21, 2009 at 9:04 PM


    I remember teaching a pastor in Russia how to say "Thank you very much" but he just couldn't get it out right. So, I came up with this for him: "Sen'ka beree myach'"

    Sen'ka - an old Russian male name
    Beree - the verb similar to 'to take'
    Myach' - a ball

    Everyone laughed when he'd say it to some visiting missionary. It really sounded funny.


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