Holnap és hónap Nagy iX

Holnap és hónap Nagy iX

What did the orange say to the apple at bedtime?
Sweet dreams.
Maybe it could work as a joke. Perhaps it should be a sour cherry talking to a normal cherry, or even the other way around for a piss-take. Am I making any sense?
Let’s go back to the beginning.
Fábry: Ferihegy! Ki a Feri és hol van a hegy?
It was the first Hungarian joke I got and while Fábry may have his detractors, he remains for me the bridge to Hungarian humor. Again, I imagine, many Hungarians clambering to assure me that this is not the quintessence of Hungarian wit and while I’m sure it’s not, as a foreigner getting a joke in the target language (however basic and unsophisticated…yawn) is the greater achievement. And listen maybe I am a paraszt in the Hungarian derogatory sense. Yokel, slack-jaw, redneck…you choose. I don’t quite get the Little Aggressive Pig jokes. I’m merely of the opinion that that tool is a twat and he reminds too much of somebody unpleasant. Maybe this is the point… Maybe I’m still in the dark.
Anyway, why I brought up the original orange and apple “joke” was because years ago after drinking cider with my brother-in-common-law, I later texted him Szép alma-kat. He got it, and I had achieved a result, an originally coined joke in the target language. As for Fábry, feck* that bunkó ember 😁.
Now, trying the joke in Hungarian I might have said:
Mit mondott a narancs az almának a lefekvés ideje előtt (Google translate helped me)?
Szép almákat.
If you are Hungarian and you’re not laughing, you’re humourless, or worse you’re racist! (Didn’t say I was going to box fair now, did I?😁)
Conclusion: As a teacher, going the road of teaching jokes is dark and dangerous and only few of your charges will ever understand, or worse, pretend to.
As a student, be prepared for the fact that your joke is only funny to other target language as a foreign language learners. The native may be forever left flummoxed. Don’t try to over-explain it. That just leads to embarrassment, or worse, anger and murderous rage. Well, hopefully that last part is an example of exaggeration.
Conclusion on the conclusion: As a teacher stick to the slapstick and if people insist on its base essence remind them of the comic genius of Charlie Chaplin, and be prepared to throw them an Andy Kauffman curveball (or Andy’s equivalent in your native tongue).
And remember, teach like you want to not like you have to.

Holnap és hónap to the nines

Holnap és hónap to the nines

“I’m off to the Skyshop*” he announced.
Well, he could have said he was off to burn some shop too, but I was left none the wiser with that unconsoling thought.
“Okay” I replied meekly, afraid of being too non-committal. Maybe this was a desperate admission by a man who needed help from his friends, but this time at least he was going to have to get by without my little contribution.
He paused.
Shit
“ Aren’t you even a little curious?” he asked.
I met his searching gaze with an attempt at a blasé expression.
He laughed.
I was undone.
“Well, I’m off then.”
“Alright then” trying to muster up some feigned notion of courage.
Again he laughed, rather bellowed actually.
“See you some day then…and don’t let them catch you hanging around…or they’ll crucify you upside down.”
The smile washed from his face as he uttered these last words.
Always prophetic, I now took his words to heart.
“You’ll be alright” and with that he was gone.
“Jesus” I ventured into the void but he was gone, back to his father’s kingdom I suppose.
Sons of God, huh. Contrary folk at the best of times.
“Peter!” a voice beckoning from the nearby taverna.
“Alright Mary.”
Mothers of God. Impatient at the best of times.
*Égbolt

Holnap és hónap D Ate

Holnap és hónap D Ate

To render or not to render, that is the question.
But to use it exclusively to mean to represent or depict artistically is to render all other definitions null and void, or to at least unwittingly to narrow ones scope of understanding.
So when a student, an architect, speaks of rendering, I can assume they are implying the artistic definition but when I try to explain its meaning elsewhere and have my word fobbed off as redundant, I am surely allowed to grow annoyed. But of course that is the teacher’s lot.
“That’s funny.”
“No it’s not!”
But I meant funny strange not funny ha ha.
Or when applying the abbreviated “ ‘morning” as a greeting and being met with the reply “Yes, it is” which with the right tone could be meant as a light-hearted joke, but with the obnoxious intent to dismiss the greeting as irrelevant noise, again the heckles rise up.
And then there’s bitch: it has more than one meaning as a noun so learn those other meanings please!
Well, that’s me done. Another day, another bitching session.

© The Hairy Teacher, May, 2018

Holnap és hónap Hé7

Holnap és hónap Hé7

With the shades drawn and his shades on, Mr. Shadow looked even shadier in the shadowy room. Suddenly the shadows of The Shades danced along the shades as the shades, whom I had called, arrived full beams glaring, trying to penetrate the shades to find the shady Mr. Shadow who was now trying to find within the shadows of this shadowy room a place to hide himself from The Shades therein approaching.

 

Whether or not the fate of Mr. Shadow concerns you, it is the very differences in the meaning of the word Shade which I’ve been focusing on this week. Well, when I say this week, I mean this morning. A question put to me, an answer given. In the end I kept my explanation to a minimum and I sure as hell didn’t include all the alternatives I have here. Imagine inviting that tropical thunder into your day.

As it stands, and as I sit here writing this, my students left still a little in the dark, perhaps I should say in the shade, but that itself may depend on how dark it was within their English weary minds, life rolls ever onwards, mysteries at every turn on this long, dark, windy, shady road.

 

Share or Shadow

Some explanations of shade/Shadow as used in the italicised text:

Curtains
sunglasses
More suspicious
Room full of Shadows
The Police: slang. Capitalised for the sake of the specific group who had arrived
The police: uncapitalised for the general call for help

© The Hairy Teacher, May, 2018

Most, But not the most

Most, But not the most

A habit building is the habit to check the menu before ordering anything. With a 10% service charge added, there’s no need for a borravaló, And so there won’t be.

Sometimes I’d consider adding a little extra but not this time. The service is satisfactory but the attitude is less appealing. A slow pint, it seems, is not acceptable. A light lunch is also questioned though that could be forgiveable seeing as with a Menu of the Day on offer, most people would jump at the opportunity. Me too if only it wasn’t all a little confusing, the menu itself that is. Set in a trendy newspaper style it fails to deliver. Too many pokey points.
However, it’s when I’m approached for the third time and asked if I’d like another beer, still a sizeable slug remaining, that I feel a bit put off. The place is nearly empty, except for me, and friends of the staff, or the owners themselves. Who knows.
The prices are also above acceptable especially for what you get. Over one thousand forints for a soup requires something more than nachos sprinkled on what could only be described as Nacho dip.
And then the beer at 890ft. Most, itt vagyok, Most-ban, and this is more than the most I’d like to pay for a snack. My other haunts torment me now, forlorn spectres adrift on the plateau of lost opportunities.

© The Hairy Teacher, May, 2018

They can’t have it

They can’t have it

They shall not have what we had
They can’t.
“Aw but I remember my first time seeing an elephant”
Yeah, I’m sure you do.
That sideways dance, head nodding, tongue lolling?
I’m sure you do.
They cannot have what we had
They never will.
“But it’s unfair to deprive them of that wonder”
The one that makes up your childhood memories?
Try living for them for a change,
Not through them.
Their lives will be eventful, of that you can be certain.
They mustn’t have what we had,
They can’t.
“ Surely it’s up to them to decide”
Fine by me, but what do you allow a one year old? A razor blade for tea?
Might as well if you keep excusing the present because of a past.
Seems odd to me.
They won’t have what we had
They never can.
“But…”
But what? It’s fucked, all of it.
Clean air, what a joke
Free to travel, that old lie
A future, perhaps
But not on our terms – no more.

Storms Prolonged

Storms Prolonged

The round faced woman with the tight Jewish curls
Let’s the sunshine sheen her face to milk chocolate brown
Red-faced I pass by complacent after storm
The mind’s eye reset one more time.
The depth of the darkness and the thick thorny thoughts
Once more a surprise here at hindsight.
In the throes of the horror all ships had set sail for the shores of respite elsewhere hidden.
The fleet, an Armada, bedevilled being broken
Sunk e’erfore a sanctuary succeeding.
And now in the aftermath I salvage from wreckage the hope to once more move on forward
Yet a scar that runs deep now further extended
A reminder of a forest and bone frailty

Holnap és hónap the fifth

Holnap és hónap the fifth

Today I’m only concerned about English (perhaps more immediately about my swipe text functioning) and the awkwardness therein. Explaining the nuanced differences between awkward, inconvenient, and uncomfortable when they all can be found translated as Kényelmetlen presented a significant difficulty this week. My rendering of an explanation could fall into Awkward as I realised I had taken the differences for granted, Inconvenient because I could see my Lesson Plan Timing slipping away, and even Uncomfortable as I witnessed the contortions to confusion on my students’ faces. Even now I’m pressed to feel confident about these and not possible alternative usages. Use or usage? Don’t get me started: it always takes that sample of phrases to get me back on track. I rarely use use so its use is rare, but the usage of usage demands confidence from the user, especially the teacher, in case its usage is incorrect. Phew! And well then there’s “its” which the swipe text just can’t handle. It’s easy but… Why? Or why not? “Dan’s dog lifts its leg”. In as much as I know it’s not “Dan is Dog…” I’m sure I could figure out that it wouldn’t be “ … it is leg.” if it happened to be written “… it’s leg.” Ah well. And have I mentioned that I don’t like to distinguish or fall into cyclical explanation when it comes to how words are used specially especially in given contexts. Am I back to the beginning? Honestly I don’t even know if I’ve begun yet. Afterall, this was to be nothing about what it has become to be about. All I wanted to ponder on is why days of the week are capitalised, e.g. Monday , months of the year, e.g. January, but not the seasons, except when personified!?!?! Watafuh?!? Anyway, in my role as sole protector of decency in English I will commit to the opinion that the non-capitalisation of the seasons is complete bollocks and I shall forever more remain a staunch supporter of said capitalisation. If you happen to be a student of mine, it might be worth noting my preferred usage, especially on those less optimistic Winters’ Days.

 

© The Hairy Teacher, April, 2018

Trudell’s* Therapy

In the dappled moment deranged
The orange glow growing
Cancer chosen again.
The despair spelled out in Circus
The cold brought in from the spy
Douma denounced, despaired over, denied.
Sabre rattling no more
Giants braving the brawl
Borders inundated, shattered –
No divisions in blood.
A child’s nightmare comforted
While one’s own sleep deprived
Fists pummelling the shadows, haunted again,
The dark days returned.
And the people despair
Or delight or don’t care
And the people morphed out again:
No men in no man’s land.

 

 *John Trudell

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