Funny video: Pronouncing English with Chinese syllables

It’s fun when you can get a joke in another language, even if it is middle school potty humour. I’ve come across this joke before, and it’s a funny demonstration of the pronunciation differences between Chinese and English.

The dialogue in English and Chinese (with mouseover pinyin) is below the video clip:

Kid: [Mouth] 猫屎! Cat poo!
Teacher: ! Correct!
Kid: [Earth] 耳屎! Earwax!
Teacher: ! Good!
Kid: [Bees] 鼻屎! Snot!
Teacher: 最后一个! Last one!
Kid: [Last] 拉屎! Go poo!
Teacher: 之后……? All answered correctly! And after going poo…?
Kid: [Yes] 爷死! Grandpa dies!
Kid: [Nice] 奶死! Grandma dies!
Teacher: OK!
Kid: [Bus] 爸死! Dad dies!
Teacher: ! Oh, great!
Kid: [Knees] 你死! You die!
Teacher: Mmm-hmm.
Kid: [Was] 我死! I die!
Kid: [Does] 都死! All die!
Teacher: 之后? After everybody dies?
Kid: [One dollar] 完蛋了! (We’re) doomed! [lit. “The egg is done”; fig. “We’re done for/doomed/finished/toast”.]
Teacher: ! All answered correctly!

Chinese “compliments” — English student edition

Chinese ways of showing interest, care or concern for someone often take the form of unsolicited advice about things foreigners consider very personal, usually with humourous (if the foreigners are well-adjusted) or tearful (if they’re not) results. Here’s what one of my bald coworkers received in a Chinese Valentine’s Day card from one of our students:

I had an experience of touching your head. It was not slipped as I imagined. but it was nice. At last, I have a suggestion: lose some weight! You’ll more handsome, no the most handsome if you lose your weight!

Have a baby soon.

For more about this quirky (to us) Chinese way of showing interest, care or concern see:

Merry Chinese Christmas… text message style

It’s custom in China to send people wishes via text message on the biggest holidays, sort of like what Christmas cards used to be in North America. Here’s one I received on Christmas Day from a friend:

Joel! Merry Christmas to you and Jessica and Lilian! Including yours friends and your parents, brother sisters! Merry Christmas to every Americans and Canadians!

And, for the second day of Christmas, here’s a song of hope by Over the Rhine:

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See more about Christmas in China here: