Because we live in Brazil and my children go to Portuguese speaking school, we are continually amused by the things Brazilians say when they try to speak English (as I am sure they are amused at times by our Portuguese.)
For example, at my daughter’s graduation from first grade two years ago, the school did a special presentation for the outgoing dean of students who happened to be in his 70’s. The theme music for this wonderful video montage? Marvin Gaye’s celebratory Sexual Healing. I, being one of only two fluent English speakers in the room (the other being my husband who was absolutely no help keeping me in line), had to get up and leave because my riotous laughter was impeding others from paying homage to a dearly loved man. Based on the hopeful way they sent him off to his golden years, I have a feeling he is enjoying his retirement immensely.
Also, English curse words do not carry the same weight in Portuguese. I should not have been surprised when my 8 year old daughter came home from school today with a very expressive song that they had studied in English class. I was quick to point out that while we wholeheartedly agree with the message of the song (which is that most of the world is far too materialistic when there are many truly needy people in it), there were a few words that might not be appropriate to include in her everyday English vocabulary. And it might be a good idea not to use those words around her grandparents. And maybe while we’re at it, we just won’t use those words at home either even though most of her Brazilian friends will think they are fine. You know. Just to avoid developing a habit that we might need to break later. Because not all cultures are the same.
I think this is what you call a liberal arts education, folks. 🙂