Cross-Culture Relations through Homer Simpson

I still can’t believe the biggest lecture class I have had is 50 people. My professors have all gotten to know me and I feel really lucky that I go to a school that allows me to have that kind of attention in a classroom. Yes, my last sentence sounds really corny, but it really is a true statement! My friends from high school who went to bigger state schools constantly are amazed when I mention my classes and how accessible the professors are after class.

My favorite class so far has definitely been my Elementary Chinese class. As an International Relations Major (I just declared 2 weeks ago!), there is a significant foreign language requirement that I have to fulfill before graduating. A lot of International Relations Majors just continue the language they took in high school, but I did not really ever want to take French again so I decided to learn Chinese. My teacher is really quite adorable and tries really hard to help us Americans understand a language that is so incredibly different than English. My professor is always available after class and has always taken the time to help us understand the fast paced and challenging material. Even though the class is somewhat intense, we meet four days a week, Professor Su is always supportive, understanding, and available for extra help.

My favorite story about Professor Su is when she was teaching us the word ‘dou’ which means ‘all’ or ‘both’ in Chinese. Professor Su kept saying when we pronounce the word we should say it like the dad on TV does. Not understanding the connection, we asked our professor to elaborate. She then described a man on TV who drinks a lot of beer, is laughed at by all his family members and is yellow. Turns out she was referring to Homer Simpson from the American TV show she had seen, the Simpson’s. The way you pronounce ‘dou’ in Chinese is the same way Homer Simpson expresses his annoyed grunt ‘D’OH’ in English.

Thank you Homer Simpson for your contribution to my understanding of the Chinese Language.THANK YOU.

– Brynn Koeppen ’11

Categories: Academics, Student Blogs

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