Sunday, April 30, 2006

Exploring cultural differences through cartoons

In this exercise student get a chance to look at differences between Greek and English(UK/US) in terms of humo(u)r.

Lesson Plan

1 Hand out the Doonesbury (or any other English language) cartoon strip, deal with any vocabulary and grammar issues then ask students to see if they "get" the joke. If not, what makes difficult for them to understand. (British humour can be particularly insular).

Alternatively, ask them what problems they would have if they wanted to translate this for publication in Greece.

2 Hand out the Arkas cartoon and ask them to translate it into English (best done in groups). This one is very good for practising writing in different registers.

3 Again ask them what problems they faced in making the cartoon understandable (and funny) in English

These are quite long strips which would only be suitable for advanced level students, but the same thing could be done with Mickey Mouse or Charlie Brown cartoons.

The idea originally comes from Using Newspapers in the Classroom by Paul Sanderson.


melusina said...

This is an interesting exercise (I notice that you are big on cool exercises for learning). My husband and I were actually talking about similar issues the other day. Frequently if I try to translate a Greek cartoon he will say "well, that doesn't really make sense in English" or "you probably wouldn't understand that, its a Greek thing". And often when I watch U.S. TV shows or movies I wonder if Greeks, or anyone else besides Americans, really understand the humor or the relationship issues or whatever. Things seems really different here, at least from my perspective and the type of people I have met here.

teacher dude said...

I try to keep stuff interesting otherwise I get bored silly during lessons, let alone the kids.

The strange thing is that programmes like Friends do translate into Greek whereas most British comedy leaves people here cold. Try translating the Arkas cartoon as it is very funny (it does make sense in English).

teacher dude said...

Ps I think Thanos would enjoy nthe Arkas cartoon, especially.

melusina said...

Lol, Thanos just translated the whole thing for me. Still a mouthful of words I don't know in it. I have a LONG way to go.