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22 juin 2010

LVDC 19 - Di Hunter can do everything!

I have now been working for nearly two month in a German company which does linguistic stays. I have therefore been writing a lot about language courses - and thinking back to my own classes, when I started learning German and English.

I am too young to have known the old book everybody always thinks of (the one which rich tailors and where Brian is in the kitchen). But nevertheless, I have quite a lot of fun remembering those early classes.

I won't write long about learning German, although it would be even more fun. Like, the first things I learnt were Strubbel ist ein Meerschweinchen (Strubbel is a Guinea pig) and I still know all the dialogs and stories of that damn book. But i don't want to be translating all the time :p

So let's go back in time to Junior High. By then I was a terrible English speaker and, having already learnt German for three years before starting English, had a weird mixture of French and German accent when trying to speak. I had a teacher, whose name I forgot, who was presumably teaching for the first time and whom I and my friends all but hated. We were using a book which was very stupid; the main character, Di Hunter, was a British actress who was going to be the star of some American movie, filmed in New York, so she was living there at the moment. The family was very diversse and international vecause the parents where living somewhere in Sussex or any English countryside you would never care to find on a map, the younger sister being a pupil -so very much younger- and the elder brother living in Sydney, Australia. I'm pretty sure that was just a trick from the teachers who made the book to have us learn things on all three countries, since we were starting English late in our lives and presumably needed a crash course.

To get back to this bloody movie, Di Hunter was going to be Superwoman, or some copyright-free character looking like a Marvel female Hero. Superwoman can do, by the way, everything -it was on the pictures we had to describe: she can ride a motorbike, she can fly a helicopter, she can swim with squales... but somehow we never got to know if she was needing any of those tampons in the ads when having her periods. Her role partner was a very famous American actor, Josh or something like that, who was going to be annother hero I guess.

What happens next is, her boyfriend, whassisname, let's call him Andrew, comes for a surprise visit to New York. He "rings her up" (calls her) when arriving, to ask her where her appartment is. She says "but where are you" and he answers "Manhattan. I can see the Twin Towers!" Here I must say this was May 2001. Some months later, when remembering the tape we heard over and over again, we would have (I'm ashamed of it) lots of fun. Anyway Andrew finds his way through West Village (or just tells the address to the taxi driver) and starts climbing the stairs. But when Di Hunter opens the door of her appartment, who's there? Josh, arrived only seconds before Andrew, with a bunch of flowers -inviting her to lunch.

Somehow we never went through a quarter of the book. I guess we must have been bad students or had a German accent too strong. I only remember some stuff, like the dog making ads for dogfood (who must have been a Montagne des Pyrénées) is in the studio once and the Director, a big Black woman, says "Oooh my Gooood, he is reeeally biig!" but sometimes I wonder what happened next to old Di and her friends. I mean, her boyfriend is the kind of lame English type, like most British guys I met so far, while the actor is much more sexier with a broad chest, like most American guys I... let's say met. But on the other hand, people in Junior High English books don't cheat, do they? (It's the students who cheat. What? No I didn't!)

Now I kind of try to imagine the next capter of the book. Like, #3, "Di Hunter and Josh go on a date", then #4 "Di Hunter and Josh go back to her place", then #5 "Di Hunter and Josh have passionate sex"- they can do everything: she can b*** his d***, he can f*** her up the b***, then the neighbor yells "stop being so f***ing noisy or I call the f***ing cops!" and so on. And then #5, "Di Hunter has to abort", which would be the occasion of learning about the Puritans and the pro-life movement. The text would also be nice and full of vocabulary: #6 Back in England, "Andrew gets pissed in a bar". Di has ditched him for a gorgeous, soulless American freak and he is seriously considering killing himself. He could hang himself, or maybe drown in the Thames river (so we know about London); finally he decides to harass a homeless.

Needless to say, even when I was a small child learning the French conjugaison and vocabulary I was fed up with those cheesy books. Like "il a eu un accident de voiture mais il n'a pas été blessé" (he had a car accident but was unhurt). I remember telling the teacher it was stupid, and she answered "what, do you want to read he died?" Well, Maîtresse, perhaps it would be actually quite cool. Anyway, it's water under the bridge now, and I think I made up for saying crappy creepy things during my last years of learning English, when our poor teachers were confronted with people having lived in the States and only trying not to get us bored and we just had to make some scenes and played immoral lawyers and hippies on drugs, when not gossiping about the sex life of acorns and dolphins.

So if I ever write a language book, you should evaluate the potential evilness of your kid before handing it to him or her. It could seriously damage his morals...

10:41 Écrit par chax18 dans Livre | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) | Tags : english, lessons, school, di hunter |  Partager sur Facebook |

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