Are you a lampadato?

by Bernard O'Shea

I sometimes teach English to speakers of other languages, and since Sydney is a popular destination for short-term language courses, there is plenty of work available.

In one class we had to discuss words that English has borrowed from other languages, and the reading material for that was based on the book, The Meaning of Tingo, by Adam Jacot de Boinod, who has collected unusual words from all over the world that do not exist in English, but which English could well incorporate. My two favourites were:

  • Lampadato (Italian): An adjective to describe a person whose skin has been tanned too much by a sun lamp.
  • Bakkushan (Japanese): A woman who you think is pretty when viewed from behind, but is ugly when you see her from the front.

The latter illustrates just how sexist languages can be at times, or how so much emphasis is put on a woman’s appearance above everything else.

He might look attractive from here, but …

I wonder if Japanese or any other language has a word for a man who looks hot from behind, but ugly when viewed from the front?

If you have any examples of words from a language that would be useful in others, do share!

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ladyofthecakes March 22, 2014 - 10:29 pm

Oh my, you’re actually doing it – AND LIKING IT – excellent! Bakkushan – love it, lol. What I’ve noticed here in Spain is that a lot of women look like 20 from behind, but are actually more than twice that age. They seem to be very apt at keeping that dreaded ‘middle age spread’ under control.

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Bernard O'Shea March 22, 2014 - 11:31 pm

Hi, yes, I am liking it, but it is challenging, and quite tiring too – one of those jobs where you have to think about work (the next day ahead) when you are at home. That Tingo book looks interesting. Tingo is a word used on Easter Island and it means to take your neighbour’s possessions one by one until there is nothing left.

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ladyofthecakes March 22, 2014 - 11:37 pm

Oh my, what… erm… charming customs they have 😉

I guess the first year of any new teaching job must be pretty tiring, as you’re building up your arsenal of different materials, including lesson plans, and gathering experience.

Any further thoughts on venturing out of Oz to torture romance tongues with unpronounceable Anglo-Saxon diphthongs?

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Bernard O'Shea March 23, 2014 - 7:05 pm

Hi again, I would still like to have a stint teaching overseas but have to put my plans on hold for a while, I have committed myself to work here up until the end of September at least. The more experience I get now, the better. One of the posts that came up which I mulled over (but not too seriously) was at a school in Kiev, in Ukraine. Glad I didn’t apply for that one! Cheers

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ladyofthecakes March 23, 2014 - 7:38 pm

You surprise me… wouldn’t you want to be in a Latin-language speaking country, if you decided to teach abroad?

September is closer than we’d like… 😉

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Bernard O'Shea March 24, 2014 - 9:10 pm

Hi again. I am on one organisation’s mailing list for teaching jobs worldwide but most of the jobs that come up are what you could call quite remote from the English-speaking world and for that matter the Latin language world. For example, China comes up regularly (there is a lot of work for English teachers there, it seems) and places such as Azerbaijan. In comparison, the one in Kiev seemed more enticing simply because Ukraine is on the border of one of my Romance countries. For these, some wanted a two-year commitment. Jobs in France, Portugal, Italy, South America and Spain seem a little harder to come by, and might be regarded as the plum jobs too. But apart from the long-term jobs, there are many short-term (2 to 4 week) teaching opportunities in Europe and the UK at institutions conducting summer language schools or preparing students for academic English. Of course, I would prefer to do it in the Latin world, so to speak.

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ladyofthecakes March 24, 2014 - 10:34 pm

I’m sure if you keep your eye on the ball, something great will come along in one of your preferred countries. Keep us posted 🙂

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Bernard O'Shea March 24, 2014 - 10:55 pm

Will do. I will have to go somewhere where they make nice cakes too, haha

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ladyofthecakes March 24, 2014 - 11:00 pm

PORTUGAL!!!! I’ll come visit, seeing as I’m right next door 🙂

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Bernard O'Shea March 27, 2014 - 7:12 pm

Portugal would be great, and yes I am a great fan of their “pudims”

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ladyofthecakes March 27, 2014 - 7:13 pm

That’s settled, then 🙂

BTW, I’ve written a new language post, not sure whether you’ve seen it or not:
http://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/language-matters-do-you-sound-like-yourself/

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Bernard O'Shea March 31, 2014 - 6:06 pm

Hi, glad the matter is settled! I will look at your language post now.

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