A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Welcome back, Kotter

Children are pop culture sponges.

But when it's not their pop culture they're absorbing the results always have a peculiar bend.

I mentioned Harry Potter (who the kids frequently compare me to... because of my glasses and wizardly forehead?) in my last post, and his influence, naturally, is widespread.

I see lots of kids, reading the books translated into Korean, and telling me about the adventures of Harry, Hermione, and "Lon."

The most peculiar instance of Harry Potter poking up randomly, is in insults unique to one student. If those around him are saying things he doesn't like, he'll exclaim: "Shut up, Malfoy!" though it sounds closer to "Sharrup, Malpoy!"

I've written before about the prominence of E.T., Gollum, Shrek etc. They are the big three. I've also often heard kids use the term "Fiona" (read: "Piona") as an insult, referring to the Shrek character. Many also sing an irritating little alphabet rhyme alone the lines of "A B C D E.T. Gollum, Sh-rek, Gollum, [indecipherable]."

They also make frequent jokes about "Hairy Kotter" since apparently "Kotter" (I don't know how its written in Korean) is a word for nose hair.

J.K. Rowling is a subject in numerous reading comprehension books.

So it goes.


Anonymous said...


Stephanie and I went with Jennifer, Rod, Hugh, Wes and Meredith to see Harry Potter last night. Arrived a little too late so the only seats were in the very first row. I was able to see Harry Potter's "kotter" up close and personal. It was fairly intense that close!


Jake said...

I went with 330 screaming campers to see the great HP yesterday afternoon. They screamed. The applauded. They wooted gloriously when Harry *got some*. I fell asleep for a bit during this part about a test...

Anonymous said...

The korean word for nose hair sounds sort of like kwor-tah. So you can imagine how they bust a gut when we're learning time and I say something like "A quarter to three".
Comedy gold.