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  #121  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:43
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

Let's start a thread of common English to German mistakes. I bet we all have our nightmare moments. It could be fun and helpful.
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  #122  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:46
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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The German Imperfekt does not exist in Swiss German ....... and in Arabic there is just one past tense
Indeed; repeating what you said and mentioning Arabic has really helped clear things up !
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  #123  
Old 20.06.2010, 13:48
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Sorry Wolli, but I have to defend my original comment here: you can say "we will see each other tomorrow", "I will see you tomorrow" or "you will see me tomorrow" - they are more or less synonymous but differ in emphasis.
Attachment 16388 Exactly so.


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I the box of stone's from me of lost. Have any the box of stone's from me once seen?
Fixed that for you.

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  #124  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:08
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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).
No really.... I can't agree. It's quite hard to detect in your case that you are not a native speaker.
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  #125  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:15
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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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.
Sure, just look at two expressions, below in French/German // English
eventuellement/eventuell // eventually
actuellement/aktuell // actually

in case of the first word it in F/G is possibly and in E is in the final end
in case of the 2nd it in F/G is at present and in E is in fact
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  #126  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:20
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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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
NO NO, to describe somebody as "special" means out of the ordinary // out of the usual way // a person having its own ways .... and even if the person is a complete pain, you do not say so ! To say so is lack of style.
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  #127  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:22
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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NO NO, to describe somebody as "special" means out of the ordinary // out of the usual way // a person having its own ways .... and even if the person is a complete pain, you do not say so ! To say so is lack of style.
The equivalent in English is "interesting."
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  #128  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:29
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

And, of course, if you really want to panic native-English air travellers then, just prior to takeoff, make the cabin announcement:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we will be airborne momentarily."
.
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  #129  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:35
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I've lost my box of stones. Has anyone seen my box of stones?
Please explain?
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  #130  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:44
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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svp means "s'il vous plaît"
particularily so, when most doors are closed, so that you have to try and find the one which will "please you" .... you apparently missed the joke
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  #131  
Old 20.06.2010, 14:48
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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A guy asked me if he could become a beer once, I waited patiently but nothing happened.
It's always disappointing, that kind of thing.

I was on a river cruise once, and they made an announcement that if we looked out to the right side of the boat, we would see dumbarton rock.

I watched for twenty minutes, and it didn't move in the slightest...
.
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  #132  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:11
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Sorry Wolli, but I have to defend my original comment here: you can say "we will see each other tomorrow", "I will see you tomorrow" or "you will see me tomorrow" - they are more or less synonymous but differ in emphasis.
You are of course linguistically correct, but I do not see the emphasis on such a statement that both "see" each other really. This may be a hairsplitting exercise, true, but not a hairsplitting exercise is that the "each other" is completely unnecessary, as is the "will". see you tomorrow serves the purpose

It was an English teacher who always told us don't make things more complicated or more lengthy than necessary, avoid not required fillers
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  #133  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:19
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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You are of course linguistically correct, but I do not see the emphasis on such a statement that both "see" each other really. This may be a hairsplitting exercise, true, but not a hairsplitting exercise is that the "each other" is completely unnecessary, as is the "will". see you tomorrow serves the purpose
It's called nuance. Each alternative phrasing given by Big Yin carries a different nuance, for those who are aware of it. That's exactly why we have these subtly-different alternative phrasings.
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  #134  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:24
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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what i've discovered is that the english are pretty skilled when it comes down to softening language and i've been told it is one element that makes them especially good in certain diplomatic situations.

germans seem to be a lot more blunt.

This is a generalisation. Correct if you mean the present German foreign minister, but wrong if you mean German foreign ministers like Messrs Brandt, Scheel, Genscher and Fischer, and also wrong if you mean Federal Chancellors like Willy Brandt and Angela Merkel. Swiss politicians at time overdo the diplomacy part, in all languages. It is no surprise that diplomatically talking Mr Merz failed where far more direct Mrs Calmy-Rey succeeded


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The equivalent in English is "interesting."
Right, as "spezial" in this case is not "special" really, but not right as a "spezielle Person" possibly is not "interesting" . Better words can be weird hilarious amazing etc

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Last edited by Wollishofener; 20.06.2010 at 15:43.
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  #135  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:49
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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It's called nuance. Each alternative phrasing given by Big Yin carries a different nuance, for those who are aware of it. That's exactly why we have these subtly-different alternative phrasings.
This may well be, except that I simply DISagree. will see you tomorrow in all its variants and nuances does not mean that you particularily SEE the other, but that you will meet/encounter the other person, or at least expect to do so. Just as I see does not mean that you see anything at all. Just as the German utterance aber natürlich does not mean that you regard it as "natural" in any possible meaning. It is phrasal things comparable to a chimpanzee beating his chest, so that "nuances" are "of no commercial value"
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  #136  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:53
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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NO NO, to describe somebody as "special" means out of the ordinary // out of the usual way // a person having its own ways .... and even if the person is a complete pain, you do not say so ! To say so is lack of style.
And to confuse matters further in the UK "special" is often used in a pejorative sense meaning someone is a bit slow or backwards. Probably taken from the world of education and their "special educational needs" label for some kids
A
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  #137  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:57
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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This is a generalisation. <snip>
Whereas an Englishman would say:

"I think you might find this is perhaps rather a bit of a generalisation, but I could be wrong of course"...
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  #138  
Old 20.06.2010, 15:58
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Please explain?
You will never understand - In Hook, Tootles has lost his marbles and, since people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones ....
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  #139  
Old 20.06.2010, 16:00
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

The incorrect use of 'actual' taken from the German Aktuell meaning 'now' or 'current', as ably demonstracted in this thread title:

2010-world-cup-actual-match-discussion
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  #140  
Old 20.06.2010, 16:08
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

I'd assumed that here it meant 'actual match discussion' as opposed to other themes connected with the World Cup but not about the 'actual' games themselves. In which case, it was correct usage.
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