Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cow-orkers III: Language School

I'm sitting at my new desk in the Panopticon, perched high atop Munich on the first floor, just another $MegaCorp monkey. And now, apparently, an English teacher. My new neighbour Joe interrupted me and asked, "What is ze difference between mouse and mouse?"



The seating plan was completed a few weeks ago and most of us $BigCorp people were seated en bloc throughout $MegaCorp's offices based on teams. Our Admin group has too many people and someone had to be separated. The first monkey who got the spot took it as an affront. Steve then agreed to take the spot but didn't really want it. I saw from the floor plan that this position ought to give me some extra wall and storage space and I volunteered to take it. It would also give me a better chance to integrate and if my neighbours were really bad, I could probably take a desk somewhere else as a floater.

Joe turned out to be almost perfect. He's originally from East Germany and since exGF is from there, I already knew about the mindset. We hit it off well, and our skillsets are such that they complement each other, so we'll both be teaching each other technically.

Joe has a two-year-old learning English. Unfortunately Joe is doing ze teachink. While he doesn't have the horrid, heavy Sächsischhhh accent the East is famous for, neither does he have the English pronunciation down.

Joe lifted his mouse and said, "Zis, ze mouse, yeah?" Riiiight. And then he started pointing to his mouth and said "But zis is a mouse".

I lost it. I was howling with laughter. We'd already been over the "th" sound and I'm pretty sure Joe knows how to spell both words correctly. Joe also insists that at the ends of his feet are "toos" or maybe "twos". I essplained what he was doing wrong and gave him a few pronunciation exercises I've designed to torture Tuetons:

Torturing Germans:
I think that these things can throw the balls through the roof.
A mouse has one mouth and more than two toes.
Father Victor wants very wet, fresh vegetables.

My other two new neighbours joined in on the pronunciation questions and that led to other questions which required me explaining, among other things, what a moose is. I also agreed with them that whoever decided the plural of "mouth" was probably trying to fuck with foreigners.

My neighbours learn quickly and are now certain that the plural of "house" is "hice".

x-posted to HuSi, with a poll.

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In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.