Marching for My Pay
Most travel guides recommend learning at least a few token phrases in the native language of the country you are visiting. Things like hello and goodbye, thank you, Where is the toilet? One beer more please; sort of thing.
Being the cosmopolitan and experienced traveler that I am, I was no exception.
I did my TEFL, got a teaching job and started learning Czech, relying heavily on Google translator (only until I got my head round a bit of the language, of course!)
We were supposed to invoice our school on a monthly basis with the invoices filled out all in Czech. I got a detailed template from my school and everything seemed pretty straightforward until my first invoice, that is.
I wrote what I got when I typed my English sentence into Google. Namely: Fakturuji Vám za Pochod 2016 za výuku ………. CZK. (I invoice you for March 2016 ……. CZK.) The school director was still laughing when he rang to ask me to change it.
What had I written?
I wanted to invoice the school for teaching in March 2016, and Google translated March as pochod. Unfortunately, March is březen in Czech. Regardless of whether you type March or march, you always get pochod (a march) and never the month.
Merriam Webster defines ‘march’ as to move along steadily, usually with a rhythmic stride and in step with others or as a musical composition that is usually in double or quadruple time with a strongly accentuated beat, designed to accompany marching….Well, there you go.
I therefore have the distinction of being the only teacher „who marched for her pay in March.“
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