A Pig With Swords

Redditor doodlebug001 apparently works at a college in New Hampshire and posted a story in the headline: An international student ran into our office wearing oven mitts, panicking about a "pig with swords" in his apartment. It wasn’t long before redditor AWildSketchAppeared had an illustration for that intriguing sentence.

When the staff went to investigate, here’s what they found.

It took 45 minutes to shoo the porcupine out of the apartment, and almost that long again to get him to go into the woods. By then he had lost a lot of quills due to panic. The student was Chinese, and someone explained that the Chinese word that means porcupine translates literally to “sword pig” (he didn’t say whether that was in Mandarin or Cantonese). So the student was doing the best he could with the English he knew.

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A co-worker had a German exchange student a few months ago and they got a possum in the house. She couldn't think of the word shovel so she started yelling for someone to get a dirt spoon. It was good enough, everybody knew what she meant.
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We've lived in Costa Rica for the last several months, and sometimes, you do what you gotta do with what you have, yaknow? If you've got a vocabulary of 3000 words (I have no idea what my actual Spanish vocabulary is), you can generally get your point across. You might get laughed at, but the communication happens. The best part, though, is once you hit that "able to talk around unknown vocab" point, your language learning becomes self-sustaining.
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