Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Skinny jeans, baked potatoes and petechial haemorrhages.

Yes, I know. 

The title of this post sounds like I've had a really interesting weekend. 

Sadly, it's educational...

Today I was asked, "How do you say skinny jeans in French?"

I had no idea. 

The dictionaries at my school were published sometime in the late 1980s (and I even have a German dictionary on my shelf dating from 1948!) and are often worse than useless when looking for contemporary language.

So what did I do?

Usually, in a situation like this I use wikipedia.

When you search for something in wikipedia in English you'll find that, on the left hand side, there is a list of languages. This means that there is an article in each of those languages which corresponds to the one you're reading in English.

It is an ideal resource for every languages teacher and promotes independent learning.

If it weren't for wikipedia, my students would never have found out the French for:


or petechial haemorrhage (don't ask!)


Niles said...

I knew the super cute phrase "pomme de terre en robe de chambre" as the Fr for baked potato, and although that phrase is not on the main French jacket potato page, it does show up on a separate one if you google it particularly.

We had a fun lesson last year with the Y9s when we were generating a vocab list and for some things I could do it without looking it up, but others we needed to go to a ditionary. As part of a letter of complaint to a hotel (there was a dead body in the shower) we came up with the French for whipped, stabbed, strangled, and shot. "Sir, how do you know all that in French but you can't say 'educated'?"

I blame Engrenages and Maigret.

Dom said...

Thanks for the comment, Niles. I love it when educators come up with really fun ideas for motivating students.

Did you see my "spot the difference rooms in the house CSI post?"


It sounds like the kind of thing your students might like :)