I’ve always heard, even from my teachers, that teachers are crazy people, especially English teachers. If we look at it carefully, we may see why. Here’s a list that you are more than welcome to add to. What is it that only English teachers do? Only English teachers…
- Say COME – CAME – COME and expect to be understood.
- Correct people when they say “It’s me” instead of “It’s I” and don’t understand why people can’t get it right.
- Keep spelling words to people when they say they haven’t understood a word you’ve just said.
- Constantly ask people to discuss in pairs or in groups something that needs no comments on. (“Oh, yes, Steve Jobs has passed away. Talk to your partner about it!”).
- Ask people to use the subjunctive and expect them to really know what that is.
- Find it annoying when people ask “Who are you looking at?” instead of using whom.
- Watch movies and pay closer attention to the chunks and expressions used than to the plot or the action.
- Laugh out loud in the movie theatre in the saddest part of the movie due to horrible subtitles.
- Tell people that they are using a plosive instead of a fricative and don’t understand why they can’t get it right!
- Tell his or her students that what matters is communication, but keep pestering them for using the simple past instead of the present perfect.
- Find it normal to ask someone to touch their upper teeth with their lips.
- Don’t understand why is it that people don’t know names of book authors as well as they know who soap opera stars are.
- Find it interesting to discuss about family, the environment, relationships, celebrities, museums, and places you’ve been to every semester.
- Watch all videos on YouTube with their lessons in mind, and not to unwind.
- Know 458 different way to put students in pairs but end up always using the same technique.
- Expect students to use sophisticated vocabulary and structures every time they say something. It’s obvious that you should always say “a bewildering array of options” instead of “lots of options” – anyone knows that!
- Feel that they’re being assessed every time they open their mouth to use English.
- Tell students that it’s OK to make mistakes, that everyone makes mistakes, but cannot sleep at night because they sent a text message that wrote “I already did that” instead of “I’ve already done that”.
- Spend hours online trying to find the next big thing that will get your students to study English outside the classroom.
- leave all troubles behind you when you close the door of your classroom.
- be able to help someone really learn something.
- treasure each and every student for who they are and what they can accomplish, and by no other standard.
- share someone’s happiness for passing a difficult exam.
- make a real difference in people’s lives.
Just like the during the Olympic Games, many people simply put their lives to a halt during the World Cup. OK, at least put whatever they can on hold during the games. And, obviously, there must be some expressions used in football (or soccer) that are very regional, or only used in that particular country, by a particular group of people. Here’s a very brief tongue-in-cheek guide to Brazilian English, i.e. how would Brazilians speak if they literally translated the expressions they use here into English. After all, who doesn’t want to speak like the only 5-time champions of the world?
- A lightning goal – when a team scores a goal very early in the game. [England scored a lightning goal when they played the USA.]
- To swallow a chicken – when a goalkeeper fails to catch a very easy ball. This can also be called simply as “a chicken“. If it was a very easy ball to catch and the goalie doesn’t do that, you can say it was “a big fat chicken“. [The English goalie swallowed a big fat chicken in the game.]
- A wingless pigeon – a very strong, powerful kick. [There was no way the goalie could get that wingless pigeon.]
- A thief – A referee that isn’t good because he’s partial to one of the teams. [Brazil only lost the game because that ref was a thief.]
- A killer (or a hit man) – A very good striker who scores lots of goals. [Ronaldo was the killer in the 2002 World Cup.]
- A big wall – A very good goalkeeper, or a player who doesn’t let the other team go past him. [Julio César is a big wall - he's the best goalie in the world!]
After Willy’s comment (click here to visit his blog and twitter), and a quick trip to a mall where people were watching Gana x Slovenia, I could remember a couple of other expressions people use in Brazilian Portuguese. This is their literal translation:
- To eat the ball – A player who plays extremely well and pretty much owns the game. [Kaka and Robinho are going to eat the ball in the 2010 World Cup.]
- A lukewarm game – When the game isn’t exciting, you say it’s a lukewarm game. [Argelia versus Slovenia was a lukewarm game.]
- A hat – Willy reminded me of this one. This is when a player makes the ball go over another player. You can see it here. [Zidane gave a hat in Ronaldo in 2006.]
- A pen – This is one of the most beautiful plays in football. It happens when a player gets the ball under the legs of its opponent. Again, you can see it here. [After giving the goalie a pen, the striker scored a fantastic goal!]
- The cow’s dribble – Another one that Willy reminded me of, this one happens when a player kicks the ball to the left but runs to the right, leaving the opponent in the middle. One of the most beautiful I’ve seen is this one by Edmundo (Vasco da Gama) in a match against Manchester United in 2000. Just click here to see it.
- To win by a big wash – This is the translation for when the game was a cakewalk for one of the teams, i.e. a very easy win with lots of goals. [Santos won the game by 8 x 1. What a big wash!]
* End of Update! *
I’m sure other Brazilian friends who are more into football than I am can contribute to this humorous guide.
What about the expressions used in your country? How would you literally translate them into English?