Posted: Feb 02, 2019 7:52 am
by don't get me started
An anecdote from teaching English...

Many years ago when I worked for a language school, I had a private student who used to come to class once a week. She was a well to-do, upper middle-class Japanese lady, very prim and proper, every hair in place and always immaculately dressed.

One week the text book had a listening exercise that involved a (concocted) news report of a woman shopper who fought off a robber who had tried to steal her purse while she was putting her shopping in the boot of her car. While listening to the CD the student had to arrange a series of pictures of the incident in order and then after the listening she had to try to re-tell the story in her own words... Her English wasn't too bad, but she had many of the common problems with word order et cetera that Japanese learners experience with English.

" So she is go back the car and she open the door. She's children get on the car and she is shopping bags put in the car."

So far so good. She moves to the next picture, which shows the thief approaching...cogitates a bit and utters the immortal line;

"Suddenly, a strange man came up her behind."

I was like one of the Roman soldiers in the 'biggus dickus' scene from 'The life of Brian'. :grin:

I offered an alternative wording that more closely matched what she was trying to convey and was thankful that I didn't have to try to explain what her original wording meant!