There is nothing funnier to a young child, especially boys, than naughty words and toilet humour.
I remember the thrill of pronouncing “bad” words and, not least, the reaction of other people to my utterances. Tittering and giggles from other children, and peers and looks of disapproval and horror from most adults.
Surely the joy in toilet humour is partly the shock value? For our clever teacher, it became a learning opportunity…..
“One Monday last term, in our Mandarin immersion class in Bendigo, Victoria, we were playing an interactive game when we were pretending to be on a train.
As we were shuffling and chuffing along in our imaginary train, the real “tooting” started and a suspicious smell wafted through the group.
One of the little girls put up her hand and announced:
“I think someone has done a pop-off”. How do you say “pop-off” in Chinese? Tittering and giggling ensued as the expectant children waited for the answer from the teacher.
Our teacher told the children about nice and “yukky” smells in Mandarin and how to say “Excuse me!” after one has emitted a “pop-off”!
By this time the train had ground to a halt, and the passengers had disembarked and the session was finished in the garden, talking about which flowers smell nice and the manure smells not nice and so on!”
In case you are wondering how to say it……
真香（zhēn xiāng) – it smells good.