Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Yesterday I had my very low level students at the women's university writing answers to some questions in the textbook. One of the questions was,

Do you like your house? Why or why not?

One girl had written.

No. Because fleg.

This was puzzling, and I asked what she meant.

There were a lot of fleg, she told me, then switched to Japanese. They were EVERYWHERE. They were clinging to the screen doors when she came home. When she had a shower, they were often in the bathroom, and sometimes jumped and surprised her. They even got into her bedroom, and into cupboards, leaping out when you opened the doors. They said kero kero all the time. It was kimochi warui, she told us, dramatically, and the rest of the class shuddered and agreed.

Eventually, when she had finished her story, I told her the correct word in English.

I never did get around to asking her where she lives, but I'm told that this problem is quite common in mountainside areas. But I don't think they are kimochi warui. I think they are cute. We get them in our garden.

Besides, I told her, they probably eat mosquitoes. That makes them her FRIENDS.

My students think I'm weird, and I think they are unnecessarily squeamish.


shammi said...

They ARE cute but I'm pretty sure I wouldnt want to be surprised in the shower by one of these :)

Anonymous said...

Fleg wa kimochi ee ney! (glad she caught the /f/). Think we brought some down here to oz with us - we have them in the front garden, in & around a tree - these fleg are not native, hope they're not a pest we've introduced or anything (remembering the cane toad).

We think they're beautiful too - even if they don't eat ka... :-)

Badaunt said...

Shammi: Better than being surprised by a leech. (The most unpleasant bath surprise I've ever had, that's for sure.) I much prefer something that just sits there and occasionally says kero kero and MAYBE jumps (but only if you surprise it) than something that suddenly appears right where you were just about to put your foot.

Anon: She got the /g/, too. :-) And ... they don't eat ka? Darn. Do they eat leeches? (Not that we've had any for a few years, but maybe the frogs have been eating them.)

Yuliya said...

Reminds me about the 10 Egyptian Plagues.
I think they are cute - at a distance. I sure wouldn't like to find one in my bathtub.

Hebron said...

Wibbit :)

Anonymous said...

And then there's today's (08/6/25) NASA apod (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html)the text to which goes "What is that green thing?" Quick, BadAunt, write & tell them it's a fleg!!