Student: Teacher, what does “orso” mean?
Me: Orso? ORSO? I don’t know. I don’t think that’s a word.
Student: Yes, teacher. Orso. What does it mean?
Me: Orso?? I have never heard that. How do you spell it? I never say that.
Student: Orso, teacher! O-R-S-O.
Me: Orso. Ok. Um. I don’t know. Where did you hear that? Use it in a sentence.
Student: Yes, teacher. “I’ll be there around 7 orso.”
Me: OHHHH!!! You mean OR….SO!!!!
(This conversation happened in Kurdish)
Me: Excuse me, do you have helke (eggs?)
Shop owner: Helke? Helke? What is helke??
Me: Helke! You know! Helke!! (makes round shape with fingers)
Shop owner: I dont know helke. What is helke?? Helke of what?
Me: Helke!!! Small, white – Helke!!!
Shop owner: Helke??? OHHH! HAYLKE!! Haylke? Haylke! (goes to get a set of eggs)
Me: Oh. Yes. Haylke. Thank you.
I later learned that “helke” actually means “slices.” Whoops.
Language learning and teaching… Oh the joys!