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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Translating word for word

One routine job for me every morning is to issue admission slips for returning students who were absent the day before and students who came in late for the day. Sounds boring, right? - - Actually, it is. But sometimes you do get to smile now and then at the letters you get and far out excuses coming from students why they were late. The most used excuse are: “Woke up late” “Had to wait for my brother/sister” and the perennial “Sir, traffic, e.”

At any rate, me and my partner had a blast one morning when a freshman student came to the office with a note. Just by looking at the letter’s handwriting, I knew it did not come from any of his parents. So, I was prepared to confront him to say that I knew for a fact that neither his father nor his mother wrote the note. However, I was surprised to see that it was signed by him. Since this was a new encounter, I immediately read the content of the letter thinking it might be a different request. Well, it was an excuse letter alright. You’ll get to know the content of the letter as you read along.

Me: “Hijo, first of all, an excuse letter should be done by either your father or mother to attest that you were indeed sick so that we can excuse you. You cannot write me a personal note and tell me to excuse you for your absence, okay?”

He just nodded and kept quiet. My partner was inside our room doing something and was smiling. I was at the receiving area.

Me: “You should also be careful with your subject-verb agreement, ha? When the subject is plural, you don’t add s to the verb, okay?

He nodded again.

I let out a sigh and then asked, “And hijo, what do you mean when you wrote, ‘I was already feeling hot?'” He paused and thought about it then responded…

Him: “Sir, feeling ko, lalagnatin ako. Mainit ang pakiramdam ko, sir.” My partner was not just smiling by this time. She already had a huge grin on her face but pretended to be busy writing something.

Me: “ah okay. You know what, you don’t say it like that because it means something else in English, ha.”

No response. Just looked blankly on the wall as if thinking about something.

Finally he said, “Sir, may scientific calculator ka ba?” (Sir, do you have a scientific calculator I can borrow?) It turned out he was about to take a test in Stats. So, all the while I was preaching him, he was thinking about his pending exams and where he can get a scientific calculator. That sent my partner to the floor. O di ba, masaya? (Take note, hindi siguro samin nag elementary yun. hehehe)

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23 Comments:

Blogger bayibhyap said...

Well, you can't complain that he's not a serious student. He's certainly dead serious about his Stats test. Both of you were switched to different frequencies.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bwahahahaha!!! that made my day!! gosh i miss the students that will really give you a terrible tummy ache and a good laugh!!!

joan

11:18 PM  
Blogger stani said...

tsk tsk tama nga ang hinala kong nagdegrade na ang student quality sa zobel. buti na lang me sense of humor pa rin kayo ni ms padua hehe

ingat :D

12:12 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi Yes, we were definitely tuned into different frequencies, alright. You should have seen his face, though. Funny.

Joan ano nami-miss mo na mga estudyante no? yan ang sarap ng pagiging teacher.

Stani Hindi naman. The students are doing their best pa rin. It's just that some are good in different areas. I hope you don't mention the school again. I'm trying to avoid that. :-)

7:37 AM  
Blogger Sassy Lawyer said...

Duh! I call that stress. He is so worried about passing the exam he didn't care about much else...

Of course, it's also possible na nagpapalusot lang...

Kids.

11:42 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

pinaka out of this world na excuse na narinig ko nung high school kami ay yung kasama kong humingi ng excuse slip. absent siya ng 1 week dahil nagkaroon daw ng LBM.

galit na galit yung assistant principal namin. siya yung nag-aayos ng mga excuse slip kasi. biglang sumigaw ng "ano, isang linggo kang nagtae? eh di sana patay ka na ngayon! stand in the corner!"

tawanan kami lahat sa kwarto. hehe.

2:29 PM  
Blogger mari said...

hehe, kids...in my case, i havent really had a problem with tardiness or absences unless i'm bed ridden with illness. my mama is quite strict with us when it comes to our studies. kulang na lang kami ang magbukas ng school sa aga naming pumasok. over si mama!

3:50 PM  
Blogger pepsi said...

hahahahaha. he was desperate, i guess.

so sir did you let him off the hook?

7:32 PM  
Blogger Matapoor said...

at least honest, diba?

11:32 PM  
Blogger Ate Sienna said...

eh unkel rolly, ito... classic:

"Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday."

hehehe

7:53 AM  
Blogger Pinoy Ako! - myepinoy said...

As you've said, translating word for word. Maybe you could add, translating the body language. Just wanna share some of these good qoutations, am not lecturing, just qouting.

Even a clock that does not work is right twice a day.
Words must be weighed, not counted.

Even as water entering water
Has the same savour,
So faults and virtues are accounted the same
As there is no opposition between them. [74]

That's all for now. Your page is great! The design and content is excellent. Magaling!

Your tukayo.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Rache said...

wow tito rolly! new look tayo ah... :) congrats!

pero tito, check your text, may ibang nasira. ganyan kasi kapag nag-republish ang lahat ng content mo sa bagong layout, may hindi compatible ang html code. check mo na lang. :)

2:45 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Sassy maaari ngang concerned lang siya sa exams niya pero kung makikita mo yung body language nya, iisipin mo talaga kung naiintindihan ka nya e. Parang unaffected talaga. kaya ako natatawa.

Batjay dito iba. Hiyang-hiya ang bata pag ang reason LBM. Minsan ilalagay, upset stomach. e minsan pag lalaki bigla kong tatanungin. Ano to, nagtatae ka?
Shhh, sir, wag masyadong malakas- sabi kagad nila.

Mari actually, dapat ganun tayong mga Pilipino. Kaya lang nakasanayan na natin yung tinawag nating Filipino time e. Ganyan ang asawa ko. Nanggagalaiti na ko sa kamamadali, dun pa sya maglilinis ng banyo, maghuhugas ng kung anu-ano...

Pepsi off course! Mukhang inosente naman siya e.

11:06 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Matapoor Oo naman. Honest siya. Kakatawa nga lang. That made my morning bright, actually.

Ate Siena That's a nice one. It's so incredible it just might be true.

Pinoy ako Welcome to my site. Thanks for your comments. Tukayo, hmmmm, pogi ka rin, ano? Wag kang magsisinungaling. Okay lang yan.hehe Balik ka ulit.

Rache Oo nga, di mabasa yung quotation marks. I'll ask around. Thanks.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Ate Sienna said...

Unkel Rolly, this might be the reason dun sa mga "weird characters" na lumabas sa entry mo:

nung ginawa mo ba sya, ginawa mo muna sya sa MS Word (or any other word processing sw) tapos nag-save ka and then cut-and-paste ka sa blogger?

kasi when that happens, usually, hindi na-ta-translate maige ng blogger application ung mga punctuation marks ng word processing software.

suggestment ko lang, try typing in notepad, yun kasi "as is" ang translation nya ng mga characters.

yun lang ang aking one-cent-worth na suggestment :)

1:54 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Ate Sienna i think you're right. I did write, copy and paste from word. I know I should not have done that. Will try notepad the next time. Anyway, I do that when I have extra time. otherwise, I write on the comment box directly. Thanks.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious, sometimes my fellow students just astonish me with the things they come up with. This definitely made my top 10. Will do some fishing to find out which bereft freshman that was. Sino kaya yun? hehehe :) Makes me wonder though, ano kaya iniisip ni Ms. Padua when she hears some of my batchmates' oh-so-creative excuses. Buti nalang pala, the time when I have to resort to such a pitiful excuse hasn't come yet.

- Samantha

P.S. Never before had the guts to actually post a comment in your blog, I don't know why I sudenly decided to post a comment :)

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious, sometimes my fellow students just astonish me with the things they come up with. This definitely made my top 10. Will do some fishing to find out which bereft freshman that was. Sino kaya yun? hehehe :) Makes me wonder though, ano kaya iniisip ni Ms. Padua when she hears some of my batchmates' oh-so-creative excuses. Buti nalang pala, the time when I have to resort to such a pitiful excuse hasn't come yet.

- Samantha

P.S. Never before had the guts to actually post a comment in your blog, I don't know why I sudenly decided to post a comment :)

11:10 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Samantha Aliw di ba. The thing is you don't have to make up an excuse or you'll just go deeper. A lie breeds another lie and another... Just be truthful. You owe it to yourself.

I'm glad you decided to post a comment. Appreciate it.

7:56 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

BTW Samantha I have a response to your earlier comment about discipline.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

mwahahaha... you just made my day. very funnyyy! brings back memories of highschool especially when coming in late. I always use that "I woke up late" excuse or sometimes, I use "the car got a flat tire on the way here" ... mostly, mga safe excuses. hehehe... would you believe if you've accumulated a certain number of lates, you're gonna be paddled? nung elementary, it's a wide hardwood frat paddle but nung 1st-2nd year hs, it was a plastic ping-pong racket-like paddle. It was in lasalle-bacolod pa. well, the unlawfulness of corporal punishment didn't sink into our minds yet... hehehe

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tito Rolly,

This is just funny. Reminds me of my encounters with our Japanese visitors and my counterparts in some Japanese universities. There are a few Japanese universities na ang ibang staff in the International Affairs Office write funny English. I wonder if you have visited the site, engrish.com. Parang ganun, na matatawa ka talaga. Sometimes, I just wish I could work there para ako na magsulat ng mga communications nila. Hehehe. Enjoy din naman. =)

Hope you are well, and kumusta! =)


Belle

1:24 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Belle Kamusta ka na? No, I haven't been to english.com. Is it the same as those translation sites? I used the one in French before and tawa ng tawa yung French teacher namin kasi I didn't make any sense at all daw. i think malayo pa ang technology when it comes to translation. Hindi pa rin nila nakukuha ung mga nuances ng target at source languages. Buti naman at hindi pa talaga pwedeng mag-take over ang computer sa tao. Thanks for coming back.

8:07 PM  

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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