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Old 10.10.2015, 13:29
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Re: Since vs for

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The what now?

<Googles>

Oh. Well that's another mistake - in English it's called the imperfect tense.



Not helped, this sort of thing, by common misuses in some of these terms - I've even heard "We'll be with you momentarily" on voice menu systems of large (American) companies. And in case anyone's confused, momentarily means "for a short space of time" whereas this common misuse is intended to mean "after a short delay", or just "in a moment".
Weeeeeell... if we're being technical, the Präteritum (or Praeteritum) is more closely aligned to the English preterite. But hey, details.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:30
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Re: Since vs for

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My favourite is the phrase "Könntest Du schnell warten?" "Can you wait quickly?" Typical of Switzerland that you are even expected to 'wait quickly' and be 'over-punctual'
Typical of Switzerland is that they ask with "Könnest du" the Konjunktiv 2 extra formally. The German usual version is more direct: Wart' mal schnell! .
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:35
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Re: Since vs for

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I also had a misunderstanding for years about the language of the requests for proof-reading. I would always be asked 'can you do this quickly' which I read as 'this needs to be done in a short space of time' rather than 'when you have a spare five minutes'.
"Shortly", too -- "Can we meet shortly to discuss the project?", where "shortly" should be "briefly", rather than "soon", which is what "shortly" means.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:35
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Re: Since vs for

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Typical of Switzerland is that they ask with "Könnest du" the Konjunktiv 2 extra formally. The German usual version is more direct: Wart' mal schnell! .
According to Mr L the Swiss around here actually say 'chönsch schnäll warte' but I thought the other form might be easier to read. It wasn't the grammar that amused me but the very idea that you can actually wait quickly at all. Like überpünktlich. It simply doesn't make sense.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:37
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Re: Since vs for

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The what now?

<Googles>

Oh. Well that's another mistake - in English it's called the imperfect tense.
Yeah, I'm a product of the comprehensive system, I only ever started to learn grammatical terminology here in my German lessons. Plus I'm a scientist not an English graduate. I managed a C in GCSE English and that's as far as I went. I can tell people what is wrong, and what it should be, but I've no idea WHY.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:38
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Re: Since vs for

German being largely free of adverbs (most times, in German the adjective also serves as the adverb), many German speakers just can't come to terms with English adverbs.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:39
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Re: Since vs for

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According to Mr L the Swiss around here actually say 'chönsch schnäll warte' .
This is perfectly well translated into high German, thank you.
I know that your point was about "schnell" - but as you interpreted it as something Swiss, I pointed out that this is an expression used from Bozen to Flensburg. I find it amusing to take your point further. Nothing more. Sorry for the misunderstanding it might have created.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:40
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Re: Since vs for

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Yeah, I'm a product of the comprehensive system, I only ever started to learn grammatical terminology here in my German lessons. Plus I'm a scientist not an English graduate. I managed a C in GCSE English and that's as far as I went. I can tell people what is wrong, and what it should be, but I've no idea WHY.
Same here. My first year at university was an absolute nightmare. Fortunately, I managed to teach myself enough that I was able to get a job as an English teacher a few years later.

And people wonder why I get so angry about comprehensive school education.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:40
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Re: Since vs for

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And I've done a bit of proof-reading myself . . .
You missed an apostrophe and probably more, but I really couldn't be bothered proofing someone's post on the internet...
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:43
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Re: Since vs for

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Same here. My first year at university was an absolute nightmare. Fortunately, I managed to teach myself enough that I was able to get a job as an English teacher a few years later.

And people wonder why I get so angry about comprehensive school education.
Kind of veering off track, but I've always wondered why "comprehensive" schools are so named when they seem anything but.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:46
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Re: Since vs for

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Same here. My first year at university was an absolute nightmare. Fortunately, I managed to teach myself enough that I was able to get a job as an English teacher a few years later.

And people wonder why I get so angry about comprehensive school education.
Yeah! It was only during the first year of uni that they realised I was border-line dyslexic. Not that they could do awt about it at 18, and I'd already put in loads of coping mechanisms. Like a spelers dikshonary etc. i know spellcheck is the devil, but I really find it a good starting tool.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:48
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Re: Since vs for

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Kind of veering off track, but I've always wondered why "comprehensive" schools are so named when they seem anything but.
It's bullshit newspeak for social engineering.

Most comprehensive schools are just as homogeneous as any grammar school, it's just that the selection is determined by how expensive a house your parents can afford instead of how well you did in your eleven plus.

But you're right. We're off topic.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:49
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Re: Since vs for

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Kind of veering off track, but I've always wondered why "comprehensive" schools are so named when they seem anything but.
Cos everyones together. It's good for the late bloomers and the inbetweeners, but I never understood why they decided that as it's no longer a grammar school that meant that they shouldn't teach grammar. Surely they should have been comprehensively grammatical and modern.
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Old 10.10.2015, 13:49
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Re: Since vs for

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And people wonder why I get so angry about comprehensive school education.
I'm not convinced my Grammar School English language 'O' level really went any more into these details. I only learned the names for (some) tenses in French classes and (some) cases in German.

For that matter, as compulsory Latin from age 11 had been dropped the year before I started, no one in the German class we started at 13 had even heard of a 'case' before the teacher started trying to drum 'der, die, das, den....' into our unreceptive heads.
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Old 10.10.2015, 14:06
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Re: Since vs for

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For that matter, as compulsory Latin from age 11 had been dropped the year before I started, no one in the German class we started at 13 had even heard of a 'case' before the teacher started trying to drum 'der, die, das, den....' into our unreceptive heads.
Umm.. Thems is articles, not cases!
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Old 10.10.2015, 14:06
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Re: Since vs for

Another thing is that my colleagues love to include compound words wherever possible, albeit correct, and lengthwise is oftentimes appropriate, nevertheless I find it jarring to have too many at once, whereas things can be just as clear without them, additionally, multiple commas reduce clairity, especially when there are clearly two different ideas being expressed in the same very long-winded and exhasting sentance, in addition, why are hyphens considered state-of-the-art?
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Old 10.10.2015, 14:16
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Re: Since vs for

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Another thing is that my colleagues love to include compound words wherever possible, albeit correct, and lengthwise is oftentimes appropriate, nevertheless I find it jarring to have too many at once, whereas things can be just as clear without them, additionally, multiple commas reduce clairity, especially when there are clearly two different ideas being expressed in the same very long-winded and exhasting sentance, in addition, why are hyphens considered state-of-the-art?
haha
What grinds my gears is the extensive usage of dashes as a replacement for a comma, period or semicolon. Dashes have their own special place.
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Old 10.10.2015, 14:19
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Re: Since vs for

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Another thing is that my colleagues love to include compound words wherever possible, albeit correct, and...
You are basically talking about me too, so here is my self diagnosis: The way the brain think will be reflected in the language used. The higher the level of skill in one language, the better the brain will adapt to its structures when thinking. In the grey zone of my German and French brain expressing ideas in English, the language reflects the German and French thinking structures. It doesn't mean that language dictates the thought, but that language will reflect thinking structures that are engraved in language used to share them. It's not as simple as Whorf thought, but there is something there... Writing English means a conscious effort to rephrase thinking structures. We can all do it, it's just work. To simply take over thinking structures learnt through other languages is a short cut. We all like short cuts, it's human. I don't believe that changing the language changes the thought process itself, but I do believe that changing the language changes the conscious work needed to express thoughts according to this language and put distance with the other language. It's double thinking: purely cognitively and metalinguistically at the same time. Double work.
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Old 10.10.2015, 14:32
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Re: Since vs for

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You are basically talking about me too, so here is my self diagnosis: The way the brain think will be reflected in the language used. The higher the level of skill in one language, the better the brain will adapt to its structures when thinking. In the grey zone of my German and French brain expressing ideas in English, the language reflects the German and French thinking structures. It doesn't mean that language dictates the thought, but that language will reflect thinking structures that are engraved in language used to share them. It's not as simple as Whorf thought, but there is something there... Writing English means a conscious effort to rephrase thinking structures. We can all do it, it's just work. To simply take over thinking structures learnt through other languages is a short cut. We all like short cuts, it's human. I don't believe that changing the language changes the thought process itself, but I do believe that changing the language changes the conscious work needed to express thoughts according to this language and put distance with the other language. It's double thinking: purely cognitively and metalinguistically at the same time. Double work.
Maybe people do think differently. I'm sure I've read that bi-lingual people, children especially, ofen have slightly different personalities in each language.

Here. http://psp.sagepub.com/content/36/11/1514.short

Last edited by MsWorWoo; 10.10.2015 at 14:34. Reason: Added paper.
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Old 10.10.2015, 14:51
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Re: Since vs for

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Maybe people do think differently. I'm sure I've read that bi-lingual people, children especially, ofen have slightly different personalities in each language.

Here. http://psp.sagepub.com/content/36/11/1514.short
You are talking about me again I am not disagreeing, but I wouldn't like to simplify to much either. I am as confrontational in German as in French because it is allowed and expected in both countries. I allow myself more sarcasm and so called intellectual jokes in French than in German simply because I also know that German speakers only do it with "chosen" people, not as publicly as in France. Am I a different personality or do I just adapt to others?

I feel that with French and German, so a study about Chinese and English bilinguals will be spectacular. The language in itself can't be isolated from the cultural circles of interaction in which it is used. Therefore it is in my eyes unscientific to isolate language as a factor of personality. I can be very French in German and very German in French, and anything in-between... But it is perhaps what they mean in this study.
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