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  #81  
Old 19.06.2010, 23:40
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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hmmm.. It would be interesting to know if there is "frenchforum.co.uk" and a parallel thread like common mistakes made by native english speakers.
Oh, Non natives in French say many kinky things without noticing it. It's funny.

Back to topic: Many vocab mistakse made with words of latin/french origin, as the exact meaning, use and conotation can be very different in English/German/French. Even though the main idea is the same.
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  #82  
Old 19.06.2010, 23:44
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I remember my english teacher telling us that "don't agree" is wrong. we must use "disagree". So was he right?
I don't agree with him.

I would say (so it's only my opinion) that "disagree" is stronger than "don't agree".

And "Don't agree" can be softened in ways that would be verbally odd;

"I don't really agree" vs. "I disagree, but not fully"

"I don't agree with most of what you have to day but..." vs. "I disgree with most of what you say but..."

Oh, what the hell do I know?


Anyway, back on topic.

German speakers, even good ones often say;

"I've been here since two years"

"Let us meet each other for lunch"

"We are going to meet today evening" (Indian's say this too).

"Be careful how you criticise him. He's very sensible."


And one from a French lady friend;

"We are in Des Artes. Come over and enjoy us."
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  #83  
Old 19.06.2010, 23:49
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

That is a common germanophone mistake: "we see us/ourselves tomorrow?" - i.e. we will see each other tomorrow.
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  #84  
Old 20.06.2010, 00:00
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I have heard the word "learn" and "teach" used incorrectly several times.

"That will learn them" instead of "That will teach them". And the same word " He learned me" instead of "He taught me".

On another note, a lot of Swiss refer to people as "special" but it took me a while to realise that they actually meant that they were in fact a complete pain!! I have come across this several times and it always makes me smile
Very typical American poor grammar mistake.

As for special, Americans often use it the same way...only perhaps a bit more derogatory than your example.
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  #85  
Old 20.06.2010, 00:43
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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"She" can be only used for ships, cars and sometimes aeroplanes, otherwise, unless you know the gender, it's "it".
fatherland, motherland, homeland -> he, she, it
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  #86  
Old 20.06.2010, 00:56
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I find it sanctimonious, but one must remember that the Brits constitute the single largest nationality on this forum, and not all can be objective (LB and DB are generally exceptions), so it is OK. British is native, everything else is non-native
meh, i'm not "native" and i don't expire to be one

not that it's not a worthy goal, I learn what I can, but as it is, this is as good as it gets for me: i don't think i'll ever become CS Lewis, Wilde or Doyle, and i'm a bit lazy to bother.

if the non-natives want to get together and talk cock, i'm in
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  #87  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:06
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Dear non-english speaker. I can see how it can happen but;
If I ask you how things are, don't be tempted to reply "it's going."
Indeed, the reply has to be äs gaat, thanks
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  #88  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:09
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I don't agree with him.

Anyway, back on topic.

German speakers, even good ones often say;

"I've been here since two years"

"Let us meet each other for lunch"

"We are going to meet today evening" (Indian's say this too).

"Be careful how you criticise him. He's very sensible."


And one from a French lady friend;

"We are in Des Artes. Come over and enjoy us."
Please be so kind as to post the correct way of saying those as well. Remember people interested in this topic aren't necessarily native english speakers.

Pretty please ?
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  #89  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:24
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I am surprized nobody quoted my many mistakes in English... check my messages, that should keep you untertained a while (eine Weile).

One thing we non-native English trying-to-speakers gave up totally is the distinction preterit/perfect tense. Let's face it: when done right, it's just an accident.
Far worse than mistakes "committed" by NON-native-English-speakers very often is the extreme carelessness of NATIVE English speakers in regard to English language

A problem for most, in reality ALL non-English language people living in German speaking Switzerland is that you in Swiss German do NOT have the simple past (Imperfect). Which means that you may say or write Yesterday evening at 8am I have gone to Schaffhausen while it should be Yesterday evening at 8am I went .....
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  #90  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:32
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Please be so kind as to post the correct way of saying those as well. Remember people interested in this topic aren't necessarily native english speakers.

Pretty please ?
Just keep in mind this isn't a learning English forum, there are plenty of them out there for that.
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  #91  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:32
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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A Swiss colleague of mine once addressed an email to senior management as

Hi Gays,


He meant guys but it made my day.
Was he really sooo wrong ?

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And I have to say, unless one makes a really good effort, longer you stay here, your own language gets mixed up. There are people who have been here for decades and do not make a single mistake, while there are others who speak Frenglish now, or other funny tongues..I have never been a purist.
This is what drives many French and Romande teachers to despair about their Maghreb-origin students who speak Frarabi and ask for un shey or wahed tée and of course will also ask for un bouteilla svp. (for the non-French speakers : si vous pouvez ! ) ..... or you can take Elsässisch and conclude äs macht bon temps hüt

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

Last edited by Wollishofener; 20.06.2010 at 02:21.
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  #92  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:44
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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A problem for most, in reality ALL non-English language people living in German speaking Switzerland is that you in Swiss German do NOT have the simple past (Imperfect).
And of course, confusing the meaning of the English imperfect with that of the German imperfekt - two very different beasts - is really going to screw things up for all concerned, especially on a thread trying to assist non-native speakers on an English forum.

Regardless of their Swiss-German skills.


No mention of Maghreb yet?
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  #93  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:47
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Actually it is an English word. It just has a slightly different meaning from that intended by German speakers. Crows harassing a bird of prey is an example of the correct use of mobbing.
Mob / Mobbing does NOT exist in German. German speakers using the word therefore mean the English term of intimidating/molesting/pressurizing
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  #94  
Old 20.06.2010, 01:55
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Mob / Mobbing does NOT exist in German. German speakers using the word therefore mean the English term of intimidating/molesting/pressurizing
It is a borrowed word...and doesn't quite mean the same in English as in German.
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  #95  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:01
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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A few that spring to mind from German speakers:

Course does not mean exchange rate.
A map is not a menu and a menu is not a card.
A watch is not a clock.
Not all buildings are houses.
Only a very slow writer would sign a contract till tomorrow.
I don't have any wardrobes in my kitchen.
You cannot cook water. I've tried and tried.
The expressions, "I come later," and, "I'll come later," should be carefully distinguished.
It's not a track; it's a platform. Oh and that's platform, not plateform or pletform by the way.
I don't have a chef. I wish I did, but I only have a boss just now.

And lots more that I can't remember.
Amazing compilation, but when in a restaurant here, abstain from asking for the "Menu" as you then will get the whole thing


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The swiss dont "take" photos. They make them. Or so my children tell me...over and over again...
And right your children ARE to "take" would be to ROB them somehow

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That is a common germanophone mistake: "we see us/ourselves tomorrow?" - i.e. we will see each other tomorrow.
a mistake indeed ... but you made it even worse ! as the idea is NOT we will see each other tomorrow but rather see you tomorrow


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Last edited by Wollishofener; 20.06.2010 at 02:30.
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  #96  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:24
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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And of course, confusing the meaning of the English imperfect with that of the German imperfekt - two very different beasts - is really going to screw things up for all concerned, especially on a thread trying to assist non-native speakers on an English forum.

Regardless of their Swiss-German skills.


No mention of Maghreb yet?
The German Imperfekt does not exist in Swiss German ....... and in Arabic there is just one past tense
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  #97  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:25
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Please be so kind as to post the correct way of saying those as well. Remember people interested in this topic aren't necessarily native english speakers.

Pretty please ?


"I've been here since two years"
I've been here for two years.
I've been here since 2008.
"Let us meet each other for lunch"
Let's meet for lunch.
"We are going to meet today evening" (Indian's say this too).
We will (we'll) meet this evening (Indians say this too).
"Be careful how you criticise him. He's very sensible."
...... He's very sensitive.

"We are in Des Artes. Come over and enjoy us."

We are in Des Artes. Come over and join us.
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  #98  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:26
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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It is a borrowed word...and doesn't quite mean the same in English as in German.
It is on its way to become a borrowed word ... don't ask me what it will be used for in the end ... it is fairly new
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  #99  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:30
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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"We are in Des Artes. Come over and enjoy us."

We are in Des Artes. Come over and join us.
I did have high hopes as I rushed over though.
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  #100  
Old 20.06.2010, 02:32
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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That's like saying that "ain't" will become the correct contraction for "is not" simply because it is so often incorrectly used in speech.

Ain't gonna happen.
"Ain't" may not be a contraction for "isn't", but many people like me it is an alternative way of saying the same thing. I wouldn't use the word in a resumé or a business letter, but in other circumstances it is considered acceptable.

According to wikipedia, "ain't" is a contraction, but for "am not", not "is not".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_of_am_not
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