November 20, 2007

That Early Morning Stretch

Jenny is my Chinese teacher. She's also the administrative assistant of our school. Her English is quite good, and I took it upon myself to help expand her vocabulary and to introduce some slang. I started with the very feminine, eloquent word...'sucks'. That's right folks I chose to take Jenny's almost British accent/vocabulary and defile it with the word 'sucks'.
She giggled in delight when I started to tell her how to use it. I explained in a hushed tone, "You can say, 'This weather really sucks' or 'You feel sick today? That sucks!" I even taught her how to draw out the 'u' and use a valley-like intonation- suuuuuucks. I told her to immediately practice it with Megan and Diana. As I stood in the hallway one cold November morning I heard Jenny exclaim, "This cold weather really suuucks." Diana agreed, completely unaware of the usage. I'm not gonna lie, I was proud of Jenny. My mind reeled with future words I could teach her.
The best usage came a couple days later during our bi-weekly Chinese class. We got on the topic of the Beijing dialect and how some of the endings of words sound similar to the 'argh' a pirate would make. Jenny excitedly told me that she could teach me a few words from her dialect. I know that she considered this an equivalent to my slang lesson. She started with the word for tomorrow "ming tian". In her dialect it sounds something like "me-er-tean"-similar to the noise you make when you awake in the morning and slowly stretch your arms over head and grunt an incoherent sound from the depths. I tried once to repeat her, but I got a shake of the head and a repeated groan. On my second try Jenny just chuckled, shook her head again, patted me on the back and exclaimed, "You sucks!".
How perfect is that? My Chinese teacher just told me that "I sucks" at Chinese using an insult word that I taught her.

Let me tell you what doesn't suck...free espresso at Mars Chocolate every Thursday...it's "the bomb". (Can't wait to hear Jenny put 'the bomb' to use!)

Your slang feedback is always welcome. If you could teach an eager 23 year-old Chinese woman some American slang- what would it be?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

you've gotta teach her, 'hollah!" it's a must... :)
-carly

Lucy said...

i wrote a whole list but it could have just gotten deleted. so here is a few.

bomb, hip, scam, gangsta, homie, kicks [shoes], crack- as in are u on crack?

Josh said...

I think "sweet" would be a good balance to sucks.

Michael said...

Chival my dizzle. She should know that chivalry will never die and how to say so with Styyyyyle!

-M Kelley

Alli Jo said...

Great suggestions! Hollah, kicks, and sweet are sure winners. I haven't been able to post comments on my own blog while in China, so hopefully this works ;)

ariel said...

I think "fo sho",sitch( as in whats the situation), freeker, crap-tastic, rubbish, and of course honestly.

btw, I laughed out lound and clapped in a coffee shop as I read this one.

arix said...

I taught her "sweet" and she loved it. She used it in the context yesterday of, "It's snowing...sweeet!" I taught "the bomb" too. She does a hand motion with it like an explosion, it's pretty incredible. Thanks for the feedback, friends.