Oh, hi America. Almost didn’t see you there.

My students asked me last week what we would call the local Bahn system in English. I explained that the English speakers in Bielefeld call it a ‘tram’ – probably because it’s too small to warrant the term ‘metro’ or anything related. I also told them, while diligently writing all of the relevant words on the board, that in London, they call the system the ‘underground,’ while in places in the U.S. like New York, they usually call it a ‘subway.’

Now, these are my beginner students, who are still very shy about speaking. That didn’t stop a voice from piping up in the back, as soon as I said the word ‘subway’: “Eat fresh!” This was followed by an explosion of giggles.

Relatedly, they’ve just started running this McDonald’s ad on T.V. here:

You don’t need to know much German to get the idea, oder?


2 responses to “Oh, hi America. Almost didn’t see you there.

  1. When I was teaching in Japan, there was an advert for an English school where a family would sit down to eat but a woman popped up saying “in English, please!” The family would then repeat what they said in Japanese, just with a foreign accent. This advert was the bane of my life…

  2. Wow. That is so indescribably stupid! Reminds me of the 80’s when the fascination with America was huge in Germany. I would have expected it to have blown over a bit by now… Turns out, I was wrong! Thanks for sharing!

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