China Time with Lu Han


It is almost inevitable –that one will encounter some difficulties when learning a second language. Sometimes, one can even make a fool of oneself.

I was not an exception. But a bumpy journey will eventually pay off, as long as one does give up. The following are anecdotes describing a few of my own English bumps.

Many years ago, when I was taking an English class in China, I took a trip to England. It was my first time abroad. After the flight took off, I was so excited, and anxiously waited for the flight attendant to serve us food and drinks. But, as soon as the flight attendant approached, I heard her asking the passengers near us if they would like “animal tea.” I was shocked. My desire for refreshments immediately died out. After sharing my confusion with my travelling peers, however, all was cleared up. They laughed, explaining that what the flight attendant had actually asked was: “any more tea?”

While studying abroad in Mexico, my friends and I would go to Burger King. One time, while everybody chatted about what they were going to get, a friend announced that he had chosen chicken nuggets. I thought to myself, “that sounds good; I may get that too.” But, when I announced my chosen order, what slipped through my mouth was “chicken snuggles.” Surprisingly, my friends decided my alternative was a better name for chicken nuggets.

I have found that most of the time it is socially acceptable to make mistakes in language; if they are amusing, they might even make someone’s day.


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