"I Told You to Stop Talking about Your Mom": Wonderfully Strange Practice Conversations for ESL Students
Each Monday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets around Los Angeles.
Publisher: Gimm-Young, Korea
Discovered at: Goodwill, 11726 Santa Monica Blvd.
Speaker A: "Jay, how is your university? Are there many hot girls?"
A: "Look! There is David Beckham!"
B: "Let's take some photos."
A: "Look! He is taking a cab."
B: "Let's take a cab and follow him."
Despite all that Beckham stalking and hottie hunting found inside 3030 English, a Korean coursebook designed to teach the Queen's speech in thirty minute lessons in just thirty days, publisher Gimm-Young is dedicated to the most old-fashioned of bookmaking ideals, at least according to the "Spirit" page on their web-site.
There they pledge:
We are happy when the readers enjoy our books.
We make books which can give readers essential and useful information and have clear reason to be published.
"Clear reason to be published"? Why, these elitists would have denied all those books that have Tom Clancy's name on the cover but weren't actually written by Tom Clancy!
We provide books which can popularize high-class knowledge to the public.
We always pursue win-win situations.
We always keep cleaning our office, protect environment, save resources.
We honestly pay taxes to return our profits to society where we belong to.
So, obviously, this is the company you want teaching you English.
Anyway, this edition of the 3030 series mostly features English dialogues between people known as A and B. These are sure to give anyone with a couple years of foreign-language training serious pause: reading through these bits of "high-class knowledge", I worried, "Is this what I sound like in Mexico?"
Two interesting points about the dialogues: first, each page prints just one side of the conversation. Second, those conversations are often weirdly horny.
Strunk & White agree. The standard English response upon discovering that a famous, desirable woman is not unattached: "Damn it!"
In this conversation format, Gimm-Young dares to work in advice for the immoral traveler:
Disgusting! I bet future volumes include discussions covering how to tell if you're IMing a cop.
All this indiscriminate amorousness at times seems to haunt the speakers. Here, a seemingly innocent conversation tears open old wounds:
To their credit, the publishers emphasize the on-the-ground reality of courtship in today's America:
I might be reading that wrong. Could "fat Jane" mean "pot"?
In moments of distress, the speakers lash out at each other.
Sometimes, they come close to admitting their deep loneliness . . . but then disguise it beneath bitchiness.
Sometimes, they're just deeply, deeply strange.
And then, miraculously, once in a while they sound exactly like Americans!
Welcome to Los Angeles, boys! Did you hear that fat Jane has a new boyfriend? It's true! So, altogether, now: "Damn it!"
Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap on the Twitter thing.
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