Every once in a while there comes along an authentic resource that’s the golden trifecta, the perfect mix of pop culture, TL culture, and usability for any level of language learning. The Pin Pon clip in Shrek is one of those. It’s so good that I feel inclined to repost it to give it to readers who have joined Musicuentos since I first posted about it 4.5 years ago.
You know the scene in Shrek – the little Prince is interrogating the Gingerbread Man, who uses the classic nursery rhyme about the Muffin Man to implicate the baked goods seller in the overall plot. So what does Dreamworks do when they need to put the film in another language? They can’t use the Muffin Man. It’s one of the most humorous scenes in the movie and translating a culturally irrelevant rhyme would ruin it. The obvious choice is to choose a similar rhyme in the TL culture to make the scene work. For Spanish, this meant using Pin Pon.
Pin Pon was a children’s show in Chile for many years and is a popular children’s song.
So the song starts out with a description of Pin Pon and then talks about how he washes his face – description of a person, and a daily routine. Sound novice level to you?
But it’s a children’s song. A few of my students loved it but honestly, how do you get your average high school student interested in Pin Pon?
Enter Gingerbread Man.
So funny. Ask for comprehension of the description. Use it for a cloze activity. Get students describing each other or even better, a fictional character to reenact the scene. Use it as a starting point for a character guessing game. Focus on the daily routine aspect. Get students talking about their daily routines, reporting them to someone else as part of the guessing game. So many routes you could take, with 18 seconds from a Dreamworks film. Pure gold.
If you teach something other than Spanish, what did Dreamworks do with your language? Is there a similar golden clip available on YouTube for your colleagues? Please share.