Wry Exchange


Survival Foreign Language
04-30-08, 1:06 am
Filed under: Exchange Students, Inbounds Inbounds, Outbounds Outbounds

 Exchange students will be moving to their new homes in less than four months.  I hope they are all studying the language of their new home.  When they move to FESlandia, there are no guarantees anyone in the host family speaks English.  Remember, it’s up to the student to adapt, not the family.

I suggest all students bring a small pocket dictionary, and keep it with them AT ALL TIMES.  I’ve seen dictionaries smaller than 3″x3″.   I also strongly suggest students write the most important words and phrases on a 3×5 index card. (All of the following will fit on a 3×5 card.) No matter how confident FES is that she knows the language, she’ll be flustered and forget at the airport.  It’s completely normal to blank out.  That’s why you need a cheat sheet.

Absolute Minimum
hello/good-bye,  yes/no, please/thank you,
I like/don’t like.
I am fine, allergic, tired, hungry, thirsty, sick, hot, cold, homesick
I don’t understand.
Pardon me
Where is the toilet? 
My name is
I don’t speak FESish.
I have nothing to declare.
Survival FESish
I want, excuse me, do you mind? I’m sorry, you’re welcome, I need, I don’t know, May I?
do you speak english?  what is your name? How are you?  Pleased to meet you.  Do you like?
more/less, left/right, up/down, in/out, perhaps/maybe, don’t worry, ATM, ASAP
slower, where, why, when, what, how, who, which/what, at what time? please repeat, again, what did you say? how much $?,  Look! Stop!
Verbs-Learn at minimum the present tense of I, you, we
be, know, understand, want, learn, go, can/be able, have/possess, say/tell, help/assist
I recommend a small grid like this.
        I          You          WE               
Entiendo  Entiendes  Entendemos   Entender     Understand
This is strictly survival FESish, after learning the above, the next step is to add in ‘ed’ and ‘ing’ to the verbs.
I don’t recommend electronic translaters.  I view them as a crutch. 
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