martes, 10 de marzo de 2015

Madrid Teacher: Gaffes galore

In our Madrid Teacher series, this week a group of three teachers talk about language mistakes native speakers sometimes make.

First of all, watch the video through so that you get the gist, the main idea of the conversation.

Now watch the video more carefully, pausing where necessary, paying attention to the following features of spoken English:

- So as a conversation filler.
- Use of actually to signal that you are going to say some surprising information.
- Reacting to what the information you hear: On the coin?; How embarrassing!; Do you? What’s your story?; Interesting!; Oh, no.
- Moving away from the topic: Oh, it reminds me
- Involving listeners in the conversation: Have you seen the Bible museum in Amsterdam?
- Use of adverbs to emphasize the information: quite
- Showing agreement: yeah!; Exactly!

Now it's over to you. If possible get together with a friend or relative whose level of English is similar to you and talk about mistakes people or you have made with the use of their own language. Try and use some of the features of spoken English we have mentioned in this post.

So I, I read in the news the other day about in Chile how they produce these coins and then actually spelled the name of the country wrong, wrongly. Instead of Chile, with an ‘l’, they wrote Chii, they put two ies, so it’s completely wrong.
On the coin?
On the coin, and they’ve like produced thousands of them…
How embarrassing!
…but now, so now they’re like collectors’ item, so they’ve obviously stopped printing anymore
Great, they’re something unique.
Yes something unique.
Big mistake.
Maybe they meant to do it on purpose.
I doubt it.
That’s a good way to create money for the country…
Stimulate their economy, yeah!
I don’t know.
I don’t think so, but…
I have a similar story.
Do you? What’s your story?
Mine is a… at the University of Wisconsin, I don’t know when it was, but a long time ago, they printed the diplomas with Wisconsin spelled with ‘son’ at the end incorrectly.
Instead of ‘sin’.
You pay all the money for an education.
And they are… that’s one of the top universities, isn’t it, in the States, yeah, after…
It’s a big-ten university, yeah.
We all make spelling errors sometimes, no?
Well, I‘ve heard about the Bible, one of the early editions of the Bible, they made quite a bit spelling mistakes. Instead of  ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’, they forgot to add the ‘not’ and it was ‘thou shalt commit adultery’.
Oh, no.
Oh, it reminds me. Have you seen the Bible museum in Amsterdam?
No. What’s that?
It’s quite fascinating. It’s, it’s filled with all kinds of different bibles because, of course, everything was hand-written and so, of course, even though it could be inspired or not, there were lots of errors that were committed…
I can imagine, yeah.
… and a lot of the people didn’t read and so, of course, they would only listen what was read to them and so many things were communicated that may not have been correct.
Just makes us realize how lucky we are, no, when, when we write something we can correct it, change it, move the text around…
It’s a lot easier now!
Imagine writing up the whole bible.
Well almost, because I read about, for example, a cookbook, they had a little problem also. It called for instead of salt and ground pepper, it was salt and ground people.
Oh, no! Oh, no!
Cannibals might have been interested in that!
Exactly! A little spicy maybe but you never now.