Sussexful (Successful)…

A classic mistake. Today a student told me what you have to do to be ‘sussexful’. Usually I contain the laughter, and politely pronounce “Sucksessssssful” until the student gets it. I know that language mistakes can be pretty embarrassing (I’ve lost count of how many ‘classics’ I’ve blurted out in Spanish…). But this student is different. He has the ability to laugh at his own ‘classics’ – to see the funny side of a loaded mistake in a ‘serious’ sentence. A huge grin spread across my face and I told him what he’d just said. We both cracked up laughing…

This is clearly the right approach to learning, communication, and to life in general: The ability to laugh at ourselves! Why can’t we just learn from our memorable mistakes and move on? There’s no better teacher. That’s why ‘espanglis’ people do better than those that shy away from the other language. To learn anything we have to take risks and yes, suffer a little in the process. So, why not see the humorous side and have a good old laugh while we’re at it? ESA es la clave para ser ‘sussexful’ :P.

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12 comments on “Sussexful (Successful)…

  1. Best skill to have in language learnign and in life is to fall flat on your face and laugh about it. (not literally if you actually fall on your face you should go get that checked and then laugh about it afterwards)

  2. In Thailand, I accidentally missed pronounced kuy(to chat) as kuay(vulgar word for a male body part). When I asked an elderly women if she wanted to chat. Yeah that look on her face is still ingrained on my face.

  3. But the Swedish generally speak great English :-). Have you watched TV and listened to music in English since you were little? In Spain most TV and films are dubbed. It’s hard to ‘sound like a native’ (some do it better than others) but communicating successfully is the most important thing.

  4. I learn better if I make mistakes – it’s easier to remember something you made a silly mistake with 🙂

  5. hahaha, hey man I saw this mistake one in a student I have, and it was pretty awesome how she thought this word (successful) was a sex related word. We had a good time in class. Good site

    • Hehe yep. Funny mistakes (some of them my own!) brighten up my days. “To suck up to someone” is another good one. A student once tried to tell me that he was going “to suck up to me with chocolate”. Unfortunately, he got it wrong and told me he was going “to suck me up with chocolate”. You should have seen his face when I politely corrected him 🙂
      Thank you!

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