Exploding F-Bombs

By Donnie | American Brands in Japan

I guess it’s in elementary school that students starting becoming curious about all kinds of things around them. One grade that’s been displaying a lot of that lately is the fifth grade, namely the 5th grade boys. Don’t get me wrong, they are amazingly well-behaved students, but they’re picking up words and things from some foreign source (I’m guessing it’s television and/or moves).

If you’ve ever seen the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Kindergarten Cop, I kinda felt like that today. In that movie, there was this one kid that would always say stuff that was a bit off the wall. The little boy in the movie say the random line “Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.” Well, I have this student that seemed a bit like that, but in the 5th grade. When a kid’s a fifth grader, you can’t really attribute stuff like that to being cute anymore. By the time you’re a fifth grader, you have a pretty good idea of what’s coming out your mouth. I’m not trying to be dirty or anything, but the two gems I got were “Donaldo Sensei do you have a big penis?” I was all like “What?!” In my head I was thinking WTF, it caught me off guard. On a separate day, the boy said “Donaldo…cli-to-ri-su,” It was like he wanted to pronounce it so he could watch every syllable lodge itself under my skin. I just told him to stop saying it.

In that same class, they seem to have picked up the word “f*ck” for some reason as well. I found this out while doing warmup activity. I had the students walking around greeting each other, and something kinda hit my ears funny. I was like…nah…they didn’t just say f*ck…did they? But, yeah, they did. If you can imagine a small group Japanese fifth graders walking around and instead of saying “Hello, nice to meet you” or “How are you?” a couple are saying “F*ck you, nice to meet you” to each other and responding in turn with “F*ck you, it’s nice to meet you, too.” The exploding “f*ck you” effect started happening with a few of the other boys as well, so I decided to stop the activity to get them all to stop saying it.

Truth be told, the English they were using was grammatically sound, it was just vulgar as all hell. It’s hard for the homeroom teacher to do anything about it, because it just looked like the boys were doing what I asked them to do (and they were, except for the foul language). I don’t think they knew just how vulgar the words were, because I’m not so sure there’s a comparable term in the Japanese language.

I have had other weird experiences before, too. I remember asking students to come up with team names before and one boy (it’s always the boys) came up with some phrase which loosely translates to mean sausage penis…YIKES! Or there was another time when a boy pointed at my crotch and said “misete” or show me. Sighhhhhh…I know they’re exploring and things, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Kids, kids, kids.

Donald Ash

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  • Anastasia

    Oh no! ;))
    It’s a bit banal when the first two things people ask you how to say in foreign language are any swear words and “I love you”. Really doesn’t win any points! Of course, it’s worse, when it’s children… You are very brave man )))