Funny things German pupils say
The kids at my school can say the most hilarious things, be it in English or even in German, so I thought I’d make a fitting blog post with some of my favourite things I’ve heard them say.
I do just want to note that I’m in no way bullying the kids through this, I’m more just laughing at what they say – I know full well I say some daft things in German sometimes, too!
The first example is more of how the kids reacted to my English.
But anyway, the word ‘washes‘ – seems like a pretty simple word, right?
In my favourite 5th class, they did the whole ‘he, she, it, das ‘s’ muss mit‘ (he, she, it, the ‘s’ has to go with it) in the sense that the third person forms of verbs have an ‘s’ on the end (plays, sings, eats…). Then, we came to some exceptions. The teacher asked how you would say the verb ‘to wash’ in the third person, to which one kid said “washs” (with great struggle as it would be for an English person, too).
The teacher naturally said that wasn’t right, and showed that the ‘e’ has to be added in. I was then asked to say the word, so I did, to which one kid actually burst out in histerics at how funny it sounded and repeated it to himself. I looked at him funnily, and said it again in a ‘why is that funny?!‘ kind of way, to which every kid in the room burst out laughing, and I couldn’t help but laugh with them. After saying it about 10 times, ‘washes’ didn’t sound like a real word any more.
Another example was actually a passing comment by a kid in the 4th class (approximately Year 5).
I was walking to one of my classes in the primary school area and walked past some of the table tennis tables (is ‘table tennis tables‘ a thing? It seemed to be what I typed without thinking?!).
Anyway, one of the kids, whose class I was in in the previous term, saw me, and out of nowhere blurted out, in German, ‘BIST DU GEWACHSEN?!‘ (‘Have you grown?!’)
Yes, I’m a growing boy, me. Strange child.
Then there’s the time someone wrongly (and I mean very wrongly) guessed what ‘gravy’ is.
I was asked what kind of food I miss from England, and I mentioned roast dinner. I then went to describe what there is, such as potatoes and Yorkshire puddings, and then I mentioned ‘gravy’ at the end. The kids seemed very confused and started to ask what gravy was, which I found difficult to do with it being a young class and them not understanding English too well.
There were a few smart guesses, such as ‘yoghurt’, and it was all fun and games until one kid went and ruined it and blurted out: ‘IST ES QUARK?!‘ (‘Is it quark?!’)
No, my friend, gravy is most certainly not quark. I think I’d actually rather eat my roast dinner with yoghurt!
In one class, I was stood at the front of the class doing a mind map on the board with vocabulary and phrases needed for shopping.
We moved on to types of shops. What was the first shop suggested?
Innocent enough, right? Wrong. They then went on to sing the lyrics of ‘Candy Shop’ by 50 Cent. I told them swiftly to stop singing because I fully understood what the lyrics entail.
Back in September, I was with another 4. Klasse, and they were really sweet with naturally low English levels.
During the 5-minute break between a double period, I turned to look at two kids who were singing something I recognised.
They were singing ‘Call Me Maybe‘. Word perfect.
I’m not sure whether to find that cute, or funny, or strange, with them being about 10 years old.
In one of my sixth form classes last year, there were some kids who kind of tried to be ‘cool’ in front of me. Or so I think they were, anyway.
One student who sat at the front and really thought he was cool, decided to be really cool and ask me a question which, I guess, would make me think he was cool.
He asked me: “Get you drunk in Hanover?”
Nice try, buddy. Basic English grammar error there. Your coolness level shot down. I accidentally laughed in his face at the grammar mistake (it is a pretty simple mistake for a 19/20-year old to be making!), and I don’t think he was too impressed.
I did however answer honestly and said I do get drunk in Hanover. This hopefully also shot up my ‘cool’ rating, if there’s such thing…
There are sometimes problem with understanding students who are speaking English due to pronunciation difficulties.
In one class, we were chatting about what they expected in their work experience placements which were to take place the next week, and one girl was telling me about how she was going to work in a residential home.
When I asked her what she was going to do, she started with “I sing…“, and with it being a basic error, I quickly corrected her with “Ah, you’d maybe say ‘I’m going to sing’ or ‘I will sing'”, to which she replied “No, but I sing now. I am singing now.”
After a good, awkward 5 seconds of me looking at her and thinking to myself ‘Is this some mind trick? You’re definitely not singing right now‘ (she wasn’t even one of the cheeky students to say something daft like that), I then realised that she didn’t mean ‘sing’ at all, rather she meant ‘think’.
I often take a few students out at a time and chat to them in the ‘Freizeitraum’ (literally ‘free time room’ but it’s kind of the room where kids can go to work or have their break). There seems to be a bunch of really annoying Year 8 girls who always cry out ‘hallo Daaaaaan’ at me, and then laugh at me when I reply with a simple ‘hallo’ or ‘hei’.
I was in the Freizeitraum innocently chatting to a group of kids, when said girls came in and, sat two tables away, literally turned themselves so they were looking right at me, and stared at me constantly, whilst talking to each other.
In a bit of a rage with how rude and distracting they were being, I loudly spoke across the tables and asked them if they had a problem (I did so in English because a) it meant I’d make no mistakes so couldn’t be laughed at, and b) they wouldn’t be as keen to answer something back cheekily). They quickly replied ‘no!’ and carried on working.
5 minutes later, whilst I was alone and waiting for the next group of kids to talk to, they turned around again, and this is how the conversation went:
Them: “Kommst du aus London?” (‘Do you come from London?’)
Them: “Kommst du aus Hastings?” (‘Do you come from Hastings?’)
Them: “Oh ok.”
And then they carried on with their work, and didn’t disturb me at all again in the whole period.
And I’ve left my favourite until last:
In one class, they were writing applications for jobs at the Great Barrier Reef.
In one small group I spoke with, one kid read out his application form, in which he mentioned he liked fish.
Being mean, and not expecting a good answer and that I’d move on with another easier question, I asked him why he likes fish.
He pulled the expected face of ‘I have no idea what I could say now’, but as I tried to change the subject, he quickly told me to wait.
So I waited for a good 10 seconds, and after a good think, he finally came out with:
“Because it’s pure emotion when they swim in the ocean“.
Student 1 – Dan 0.
Working with kids can be absolutely hilarious at times, as you can see from the very few examples of things they say above.
Sometimes it’s cheekiness, sometimes it’s problems with pronunciation, and sometimes it’s just a bit weird…
I hope you enjoyed the quotes and found them funny, despite some of them being ‘you had to be there’ moments.
Bis zum nächsten Mal!