What the F … in Czech

24 Feb

Remember those students from my last post who were taking off their shirts and yelling “Duffman!! Ohhh yeahhh!!”??? I described them as “funny and crazy.” I neglected to include “little jerks” in the description…

Last year I had some funny stories about my students using the F word in front of me. In all those occasions the students were just trying to be funny and test out the usage of the curse words/phrases they had learned in English. In general, they weren’t trying to malicious, or at least not towards me. Last year I also understood their native language, Spanish, so I would have known if they were ever cursing about me in Spanish … which is not the case this year, where I can’t understand Czech so my students could be saying anything in Czech and I would have no idea. In most of my classes there is a Czech teacher present, and most of my students are under the age of 7 so the odds of them saying anything inappropriate is low. But, I have a few classes of students older than 8 where there is no Czech teacher present.

Which brings me to yesterday afternoon’s class with the 5 wild boys. There is no other teacher present, just me. And we’re in our office, not in a school where I can send the kids to a principal’s office or something. In the first 5 minutes of class we were starting to do an activity and I had given all the boys a flashcard and told them to put it on the floor in front of them. “Duffman” student wasn’t listening so I told him again to put it on the floor. He responded, “yes, kurva.” Here is your Czech lesson for the day: “kurva” = “bitch.” And, according to Google translate, it can also mean wh**e, sl*t, hooker, prostitute, strumpet, harlot, streetwalker…

Luckily for me I had just learned this word not more than 3 weeks prior, when Jess and I got a  lesson in Czech curse words from a friend of ours KV. I thought it would be funny if I learned some of them, not anticipating that they’d be useful in the classroom. This episode just made me wonder what other things they’ve been saying that I didn’t understand… but now the joke is on them because Duffman’s parents were getting a call from my coordinator on Wednesday night…


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