Caught these two videos during my rounds today.

The first comes from the Shanghaiist and shows why China should never trust a Russian screen their ESL teachers:

Shanghaiist reader (and tipster), Alexander, explains why appending English phrases with “BLYA” makes videos of Chinese kids viral in Russia:

On this video Laowai-teacher (maybe from Russia) teaches Chinese kids English. She wrote on the blackboard two phrase:
How are you? BLYA”
“I am fine, blya”

And told kids to pronounce those phrases again and again. “Blya” means “bitch” in Russian [source]. It’s same like “damn it, or motherfucker” in English.

Now this video spreading in the popular Russian social network “Vkontakte” (Facebook-clone)…I can’t found a source of this video, but most earliest mention in Russian social network was 11th of June.

Tiffany at the Shanghaiist calls the act “despicable,” and dubs the teacher “the worst foreign English teacher of the year” and a “scummy Russian-speaking teacher.” I’m not sure I would go that far. Sure, it’s a bit exploitative, particularly if the teacher’s intention was to try and make a viral video at the expense of the kids’ (and all non-Russian speakers’) ignorance of Russian slang. However, without that context, it may just be a private gag that got out. And if so, it’s pretty funny. Completely unprofessional, but then the ESL game in China is designed (by China) to be as unprofessional as possible.

ESL teachers are essentially paid to entertain. “Dance monkey dance,” was a common phrase teachers would say to each other as we went off to class when I was in the ESL racket. That this teacher took a little bit of that back… well, it’s not right, but I get it.

Speak Manglish

Our second video comes from Lost Laowai reader (and Saloon member — I had no idea! I need to drop in for a drink more often) Becky Ances. The video gives a funny rundown of how to speak with a Manglish accent in English, which the “instructor” is very clear to distinguish from the more well-known Canto accent (he does a decent Russell Peters impression impression as well).


  1. Well, yea, there’s nothing random about Chinese replacing vowel sounds that don’t exist in Mandarin
    The funniest, as above, is when they say stuff like 当汤.. hehe, that’s awesome

    This guy’s funny, he better be on Youtube.

  2. Woah, you read my blog?! I feel so honored! 😛

    For some reason I really like funny/interesting videos of foreigners speaking Chinese (and signing in Chinese) or Chinese people explaining things in English. I can get lost in a video vortex for hours.

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