Want to hear a funny story?

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I just finished listening to this week’s Culips ESL podcast episode, hosted by Harp and Maura, and I really enjoyed it! It’s a Chatterbox episode about the art of telling stories in English.

If you haven’t heard the episode yet, check it out here (for free, as always): The art of telling stories in English

In this episode, Maura and Harp both share some funny, interesting stories from their own lives and discuss how people tell stories in English in general. They give you some great ways to grab people’s attention at the start of a story and talk about how people often exagerate when telling a story.

Listening to Harp’s and Maura’s stories put me in the mood to tell a funny story of my own. My story relates to language, so I thought I’d tell my story in the form of a Culips blog post!

So, do you want to hear a funny story?

A couple of years ago, I was visiting one of my favourite places, the Science North Science Centre in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. They have all kinds of neat science exhibits there, including some live animals that are native to Canada, like beavers, porcupines, turtles, snakes, frogs, flying squirrels, and birds.

I was visiting the Science Centre with my mom and we were exploring the area with all the animals. I was looking at a beautiful bird, called a rough-legged hawk, and my mom was looking at something else. I had never seen a bird like that so close before, and it was really neat. I wanted my mom to come over and look at it with me, so I said “Hey mom! Come see this. It’s so cool!”

She came over and we looked at the bird for a while, then moved on to the next part of the exhibit. As we were walking away from the hawk, a little girl, maybe about 8 years old, walked up to the cage and said to her mother, in French, “Maman! Regarde! C’est une socool!” which in English translates to “Mom! Look! It’s a socool!”

The little girl had overheard me calling my mom over before, but because she didn’t speak English, when I said the bird was “so cool” she had thought I was telling my mom the bird’s name! I wish I could have heard the rest of the conversation between the little girl and her mother, because there’s no such thing as a bird called a “socool”!

This story gave me a good laugh when it happened, and it reminded me how easily misunderstandings can occur in different languages.

Do you have a funny story that you’d like to share? It could be about a language misunderstanding, or about anything at all! Share it in the comments section of this blog post!

Posted in Canada, Culips Blog, culture, English, Travels


  1. isacsoares@hotmail.com' Isac says:

    It was very funny! socool ..The little girl doesn´t have blame!

  2. isacsoares@hotmail.com' Isac says:


  3. tiong7787@gmail.com' tiong says:

    Possibly because you had highlighted the last two words ‘so cool’, naturally the little girl presumed ‘so cool’ to be the name of the hawk.

  4. amrwady1972@hotmail.com' Amr Wady says:

    Absolutley, When i visited Uk for my first time on business there. I asked the waiter to get me a glass of water, But he gave me a bottle of white Wine, At first i thought that’s a water But i discovered that’s a wine from the smell and the wine is forbidden to Muslims.

  5. Jessie says:

    Wow! I’m glad you didn’t drink any of the wine, Amr!

    I guess “water” and “white wine” both have “w” and “t” sounds in them, I wonder if that’s how the waiter got confused.

    I once left a glass of water on the kitchen counter before I went bed. While I was asleep, my roommate washed the glass and then poured herself a glass of white wine.

    Unfortunately, she didn’t finish drinking it and left it on the counter in the same spot.

    The next morning, I took a big drink of my “water” because I was feeling very thirsty.

    What a shock! When you’re expecting to taste plain water and instead you get a mouthful of stale wine, it’s pretty unpleasant. Especially early in the morning!

    My roommate thought it was really funny, but at least she was more careful about leaving things in the kitchen after that.

  6. amrwady1972@hotmail.com' Amr Wady says:

    Hi Jessie,

    Thanks a bunch for telling me this funny story as well. BUT you said ” My roommate thought is was really funny ” Is it correct grammatically?

    Thanks in advance,

    Amr Wady.

  7. Jessie says:

    Hi Amr,

    You have good eyes! I typed “is” by accident, when what I meant to type was “it”: My roommate though IT was really funny.

    Sometimes it seems like my fingers don’t obey my brain!

    Anyways, I’ve fixed the typo in my earlier comment. Thanks for your help, and sorry if I caused any confusion!



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