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Old 16.09.2011, 23:24
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'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

This crops up quite a lot (even on official documents).

I receive spreadsheets via email with titles such as 'actual total' or 'actual man hours YTD' and they really mean 'current' (after informing the 'document owner' they still haven't been corrected - about 3 years now).

I've tried to explain that 'actual' in German is 'eigentlich' and that they're just thinking 'aktuell' in German is the same in English, which of course it isn't.

But there must be others.......................
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Old 16.09.2011, 23:33
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

That's what's called "false friends." You think you know the word but in the other language it's not what you think. There are hundreds of lists on the Internets, for just about any combination of two languages. Besides that, there even are lots of originally German words in English that have a totally different meaning, for instance spiel, clutz, to putz, to name just a few. Same with English words borrowed from other languages, such as chef, entrée, anxious and many more.

Last edited by Captain Greybeard; 16.09.2011 at 23:53.
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Old 16.09.2011, 23:59
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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That's what's called "false friends." You think you know the word but in the other language it's not what you think. There are hundreds of lists on the Internets, for just about any combination of two languages. Besides that, there even are lots of originally German words in English that have a totally different meaning, for instance spiel, clutz, to putz, to name just a few. Same with English words borrowed from other languages, such as chef, entrée, anxious and many more.
Just got the edit.

I was also thinking along the lines of 'became' instead of 'received' because German speaking people think it's the equivalent of 'bekommen' and so on.

Interesting (especially for the polyglots).
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Old 17.09.2011, 07:33
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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'actual total' or 'actual man hours YTD' and they really mean 'current'
"Actually", I use the phrase "actual FTEs YTD" in reports, and that's what it means - actual, as opposed to planned. Current in that context wouldn't make sense. Though if I said "current actual FTEs YTD" there's an implication/inference (don't call me on that one, never quite sure) that this is the running total or burn rate, there's more to come. You're quite right about "actual total" though.

Last edited by planetali; 17.09.2011 at 07:35. Reason: bit of clarification
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:07
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That's what's called "false friends." You think you know the word but in the other language it's not what you think. There are hundreds of lists on the Internets, for just about any combination of two languages. Besides that, there even are lots of originally German words in English that have a totally different meaning, for instance spiel, clutz, to putz, to name just a few. Same with English words borrowed from other languages, such as chef, entrée, anxious and many more.
Thanks for that - I just looked it up. I'll send the Wiki link to our R&D and HR.

All the best.
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:25
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Thanks for that - I just looked it up. I'll send the Wiki link to our R&D and HR.

All the best.
They'll tell you they've been using that terminology "since years", though...
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:32
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

The "actual" one happens with French as well, where "actuel" means current and "actuellement" means at the moment as opposed to actually.

Even within the different variants of English there are some of these false friends. I had an American manager who used the word "momentarily" in the sense of "in a few minutes' time" (I'm busy now but I'll call you back momentarily). Whereas in British English, momentarily means "for a short period of time" (he was momentarily in the lead until another runner overtook him).
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:37
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

Sympathetic...
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:41
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

smoking, dancing, fitness - all used as nouns and meaning something either completely different or only slightly related to the words in English ...
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:42
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

and the nuances of the word "interesting" (in French) is not the same as in English either
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:42
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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smoking, dancing, fitness - all used as nouns and meaning something either completely different or only slightly related to the words in English ...
Wellness.

The word is like nails down a blackboard.

*Shudders*
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Old 17.09.2011, 18:59
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

"A training" (as in "I'm doing a Sharepoint training next week") is well on its way to becoming established as "correct" English within international companies here.
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Old 18.09.2011, 18:42
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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"A training" (as in "I'm doing a Sharepoint training next week") is well on its way to becoming established as "correct" English within international companies here.
Together we need to fight this by using correct words ourselves and correcting others (where appropriate, of course) along the way!
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Old 18.09.2011, 18:51
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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This crops up quite a lot (even on official documents).

I receive spreadsheets via email with titles such as 'actual total' or 'actual man hours YTD' and they really mean 'current' (after informing the 'document owner' they still haven't been corrected - about 3 years now).

I've tried to explain that 'actual' in German is 'eigentlich' and that they're just thinking 'aktuell' in German is the same in English, which of course it isn't.

But there must be others.......................
Sorry, but my dictionary (American Heritage dictionary of the English Language, 3rd edition) as second definition states "2: Being, existing, or acting at the current moment; current"

So what's your point again?

Tom

P.S. OOH, for the whiny Brits, my "Oxford Dictionary of Current English" also states "existing in fact, real, present, current (the actual situation)"
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Old 19.09.2011, 08:54
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So what's your point again?
Hi there,

Yes I get what you mean. I'm referring to the fact that a native English-speaker would only say or write 'actual' if they meant it against the 'forecast' (i.e. the hours that were 'actually' used to finish a project).

'Current' for me is 'at the moment' (i.e. aktuell).
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Old 19.09.2011, 08:57
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

You are most interested in this subject, no?

I borrow you my book.
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Old 19.09.2011, 09:32
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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This crops up quite a lot (even on official documents).

I receive spreadsheets via email with titles such as 'actual total' or 'actual man hours YTD' and they really mean 'current' (after informing the 'document owner' they still haven't been corrected - about 3 years now).

I've tried to explain that 'actual' in German is 'eigentlich' and that they're just thinking 'aktuell' in German is the same in English, which of course it isn't.

But there must be others.......................
depends on the report. sometimes actual is used in reports to distinguish between forecast/projected numbers and actual numbers.
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Old 19.09.2011, 09:36
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

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Hi there,

Yes I get what you mean. I'm referring to the fact that a native English-speaker would only say or write 'actual' if they meant it against the 'forecast' (i.e. the hours that were 'actually' used to finish a project).

'Current' for me is 'at the moment' (i.e. aktuell).
Sorry, I disagree, as do the two dictionaries I mentioned.

Tom
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Old 19.09.2011, 09:59
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Re: 'Actual' or 'Current' - that is the question……

"actual" does not = "aktuell"
it's a false friend
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Old 19.09.2011, 10:10
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You are most interested in this subject, no?

I borrow you my book.
Well, yes......(I am currently, but only now, at this moment in time ).
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