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Old 17th April 2010, 12:28 AM   #1
Grimace
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Default Yes, we want!

The other day I saw the latest promotional advertisement on TV for bilingual schools in Madrid. The new slogan to accompany the campaign is "Yes, we want!" I'm wondering why they decided to use something that's grammatically incorrect, sounds plain wrong and would never be uttered by any native English speaker above the age of 3. Even if it's supposed to be a play on Barack Obama's famous catchphrase, it simply sounds awful. I think they should have just stuck with last year's "I learn English because I study in English."

Still, I've worked in a bilingual public school for the last two years and I doubt more than one or two of the dozen English teachers there would recognise that the phrase was wrong, so maybe it is appropriate after all.


Here's an article from El País.
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Old 17th April 2010, 09:57 AM   #2
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Yes, I've seen the same ads around the city and chuckle every time I see them. What's so funny is that it appears that nobody on the advertising committee who produced this ad decided to run it by a native English speaker first. Kind of ironic considering the product being advertised.

What's disturbing is that millions of euros were spent on this campaign and not a single person who laid eyes on it before it went public fixed this mistake.
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Old 17th April 2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Beckett View Post
Yes, I've seen the same ads around the city and chuckle every time I see them. What's so funny is that it appears that nobody on the advertising committee who produced this ad decided to run it by a native English speaker first. Kind of ironic considering the product being advertised.

What's disturbing is that millions of euros were spent on this campaign and not a single person who laid eyes on it before it went public fixed this mistake.
On the other hand they've now gained a lot of (free) publicity. It's possible it was intentional?
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Old 17th April 2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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If I saw that I'd be sure to find a different course!
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Old 18th April 2010, 12:48 AM   #5
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As I don't live in Madrid I haven't seen the ad but it's not surprising is it?

Lots of the T shirts with English on them have slogans that, whilst they aren't exactly wrong, aren't right either. The language schools are often the same with names that don't ring true, tourist signs have dodgy or overtechnical translations and wine makers elaborate wines etc, etc.
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Old 18th April 2010, 02:16 PM   #6
Legazpi
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Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
The other day I saw the latest promotional advertisement on TV for bilingual schools in Madrid. The new slogan to accompany the campaign is "Yes, we want!" I'm wondering why they decided to use something that's grammatically incorrect, sounds plain wrong and would never be uttered by any native English speaker above the age of 3. Even if it's supposed to be a play on Barack Obama's famous catchphrase, it simply sounds awful. I think they should have just stuck with last year's "I learn English because I study in English."

Still, I've worked in a bilingual public school for the last two years and I doubt more than one or two of the dozen English teachers there would recognise that the phrase was wrong, so maybe it is appropriate after all.


Here's an article from El País.
Yes I noticed that as well. Well at least they didn't shove an "ing" onto the end of it, which seems to be Spanish obsession when it comes to English words ("Yes we're wanting"?).

BTW What kind of level of English do the kids achieve in bi-lingual schools? What's the standard of English in the lessons? And which subjects are taught in English?

I'm interested because we might eventually send our son to one and, given that he'll hopefully be bilingual anyway (I'll speak English to him the whole time) I'm wondering if it'll be worth it.
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Old 18th April 2010, 04:21 PM   #7
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It's funny because when i visted elmundo.es the other day that advert came up on the screen and i thought to myself immediately that it was incorrect; akin to people answering the question "Do you like football?" with "Yes i like" (instead of "Yes, I do"). But, how they could have made such a fundamental mistake is beyond me, and as for it being done on purpose to draw attention to the company, who wants to learn a language with a company who can make such a basic error in the language they're meant to be teaching you. However, i do understand it was probably a slant on Obama's "Yes, we can".
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Old 19th April 2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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Yes I noticed that as well. Well at least they didn't shove an "ing" onto the end of it, which seems to be Spanish obsession when it comes to English words ("Yes we're wanting"?).

BTW What kind of level of English do the kids achieve in bi-lingual schools? What's the standard of English in the lessons? And which subjects are taught in English?

I'm interested because we might eventually send our son to one and, given that he'll hopefully be bilingual anyway (I'll speak English to him the whole time) I'm wondering if it'll be worth it.
I think the kids receive 4-5 hours a week of English language lessons and 4-5 hours of a week of a mix of science and social studies in English. Both subjects are a matter of rote learning from a textbook, so the kids with brains like sponges pick up everything and regurgitate it in their exams while the other ones fall by the wayside.

I wouldn't bother with it, though. Based on my experiences, if I had children here I'd avoid the entire public system (including bilingual public schools) like "the clap" and at the very least send them to a concertado or a fully private school if I had the money.

Esperanza Aguirre speaks English very well and with a very good accent because she attended a bilingual private school run by British teachers. It's a noble idea she has to try to afford that same opportunity to the children of Madrid for free. However, in practice using teachers from Spain who simply try to maintain the illusion that they're fully competent English speakers (whether or not they really are) because they're supposed to communicate in English during their classes probably won't produce the same results for most students. In theory each school does have language assistants, using a ratio of something like 1 native speaker per 100 students, but then again I can't say how effectively they're actually used in all cases.
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Old 19th April 2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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I think the kids receive 4-5 hours a week of English language lessons and 4-5 hours of a week of a mix of science and social studies in English. Both subjects are a matter of rote learning from a textbook, so the kids with brains like sponges pick up everything and regurgitate it in their exams while the other ones fall by the wayside.

I wouldn't bother with it, though. Based on my experiences, if I had children here I'd avoid the entire public system (including bilingual public schools) like "the clap" and at the very least send them to a concertado or a fully private school if I had the money.

Esperanza Aguirre speaks English very well and with a very good accent because she attended a bilingual private school run by British teachers. It's a noble idea she has to try to afford that same opportunity to the children of Madrid for free. However, in practice using teachers from Spain who simply try to maintain the illusion that they're fully competent English speakers (whether or not they really are) because they're supposed to communicate in English during their classes probably won't produce the same results for most students. In theory each school does have language assistants, using a ratio of something like 1 native speaker per 100 students, but then again I can't say how effectively they're actually used in all cases.
Thanks. Yes it's all a bit of a dilemma for me. Really I'd rather my kid received a decent education in Spanish and I taught him English, rather than receiving an education that is compromised by classes being taught in a language that is still a bit alien to both the teacher and all the other pupils.

I also wonder if the private schools in Madrid that use native English teachers could really attract the same quality of say maths teacher that a decent Spanish school could. The private English schools seem to charge a lot of money for the "privilege" of having native English teachers rather than the quality of the teaching itself.
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Old 6th May 2010, 12:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Culebronchris View Post
As I don't live in Madrid I haven't seen the ad but it's not surprising is it?

Lots of the T shirts with English on them have slogans that, whilst they aren't exactly wrong, aren't right either. The language schools are often the same with names that don't ring true, tourist signs have dodgy or overtechnical translations and wine makers elaborate wines etc, etc.

You should go to Japan, you would get a kick out of the "cool" English you will see there (on t-shirts, stores etc.)

This web site always gives me a laugh

www.engrish.com

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Old 7th May 2010, 05:49 PM   #11
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I was hoping to get a photo of one of the ads up in Nuevos Ministerios but it seems that they were taken down within days!
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Old 7th May 2010, 06:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
I wouldn't bother with it, though. Based on my experiences, if I had children here I'd avoid the entire public system (including bilingual public schools) like "the clap" and at the very least send them to a concertado or a fully private school if I had the money.
Hi,
although I agree with you on some on the points you make, I must say the paragraph quoted above is assuming that an 'entire' public system can be fully disqualified because of some personal experiences, which however broad they are, being personal are but a tiny drop of experience when compared to the enormous state school machinery.

I have been lucky enough to live in different countries (Britain, Germany and Italy) and I don't think the state school system in this country has anything to envy to their neighbours' (north or south), some deficits but some good points, too, like nearly anywhere I know.

By the way, I am a state teacher (no English, so please don't panic! ), but neither primary nor secondary, so I am just stating what I think to be a not-extremely-subjective opinion. On the other hand, I think Esperanza Aguirre's plan is ridiculous for the many reasons mentioned in the previous posts. I'm much afraid too, that the idea is not 'noble' either. People at the Comunidad de Madrid are very aware of the futility of their enterprise, but making 'bilingual' children sells very well to the electorate.
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Old 7th May 2010, 11:31 PM   #13
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I was hoping to get a photo of one of the ads up in Nuevos Ministerios but it seems that they were taken down within days!
They were up for the entire month of April because the school enrollment period ended April 30. You must've just missed it. Here's a photo I took in Atocha: http://twitpic.com/1kfc78
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Old 3rd June 2010, 03:25 AM   #14
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They probably said "Yes, we want!" because Spanish speakers don't seem to grasp "it" very well.

And what IS it with adding -ing to every verb? I can't break my boyfriend of that one. I suspect he desperately wants to "conjugate" the verb by adding some sort of ending and doesn't get that the infinitive and the present are pretty much the same thing in English.
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Old 4th June 2010, 12:49 AM   #15
Acosta
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Yes, I've seen the same ads around the city and chuckle every time I see them. What's so funny is that it appears that nobody on the advertising committee who produced this ad decided to run it by a native English speaker first. Kind of ironic considering the product being advertised.

What's disturbing is that millions of euros were spent on this campaign and not a single person who laid eyes on it before it went public fixed this mistake.

So I guess we won't mention how much GM tried to spend selling the Nova in South America
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