Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Multilingual Puns

¿Qué hace un pez? Nada.

Something the world needs to know about me: I'm a sucker for puns. I'm punny. Words with any sort of double meaning are fascinating to me, as a linguaphile. And if I can take that double meaning and make it funny? Sold.

Even when puns are "stupid" or "tired" I admire them for having that slight extra edge to them. Like the one above...it's one of the oldest, most-used puns in Spanish, and I love it anyway. What does a fish do? Nothing/He swims.

A second thing you all need to know is that I love my students. There's no denying it. And I love them even more when they make multilingual puns, quite possibly one of my favorite things in the universe.

I bet every ESL teacher in Spain has heard this one: How do you say nariz in English? No sé. Hahahaha. Nosé...nose. (No sé means I don't know...but it looks like the word nose!)

The other day we were doing a unit on the US states, and one of the kids went "Buff, te cansas de Kansas!" (You get tired of Kansas...but "cansas" and "Kansas" sound exactly the same in a Spanish accent) This one is extra funny because it's true. Poor Kansas. (Sorry Kansatians... Kansanians... Kansasers...oh lord. People from Kansas. According to Google the proper term is Kansans, but that sounds every bit as silly to me as my options, so I'm leaving them here.)

And finally, because my Spanish roommate was complaining that I've never talked about him on this blog, here is a pun he told me the other day. Not multilingual, but you can't always have everything.

Dijeron los piratas, "¡Abordamos el barco!" Y el barco les quedó muy mono.

(Translation: The pirates said "Board/decorate the ship! And the ship ended up looking really beautiful.)

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