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  #61  
Old 21.08.2007, 12:20
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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Sure... I am still learning and eager to improve.... I am not talking about advice... I am talking about mocking you because you don't speak right...

And I have noticed that comes usually from people who only speak one language... people that speak several, know how hard is to master a foreign language and are much more helpful.
I suppose I could move this thread into 'complaints corner', though I won't. Here's the thing: Many mistakes made by non-native english speakers can help other to learn the other language.

A couple of examples:

My uncle has a german friend who was talking about 'Sniff dogs' to our great entertainment, however, now I'll never forget that the proper word for 'bloodhound' in german is 'Snueffelhund'. (This friend is amused that I have such a strong Swiss-German accent, as she's from the North).

I'm amused when I hear the "I haven't done the [insert whatever activity here] until now, when the speaker hasn't done it yet. But, it helps me remember how I should say it in German.

Anyways, people are going to make mistakes, a few will be funny, a few won't be. I've made a few mistakes in German that have had even my teachers just about rolling on the floor, and my mistakes were actually really funny. But in studying our mistakes we always learn.

I don't think that the real meaning of this thread is to mock anyone. I don't see much in the way of bad intents in these posts.
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  #62  
Old 21.08.2007, 12:48
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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I'm always amused when my wife tells me that I should remember her. ;-)

The swiss often say "I have cold" instead of "I am cold". I'm always thinking that they're saying "I have a cold" and that they're feeling ill.
HAHA, totally agreed! tho english is not my native as well, but I notice my BF said "Do you have a cold feet?" instead of "Is your feet cold?" or "Are you feeling cold with your feet?" :>
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  #63  
Old 21.08.2007, 12:50
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

Are you sure thats what he meant ? Without knowing the context, he could have meant something quite different...

dave

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HAHA, totally agreed! tho english is not my native as well, but I notice my BF said "Do you have a cold feet?"
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  #64  
Old 21.08.2007, 13:10
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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Language is a communication medium and as long as the person receiving the message can interpret it the language used, however wrong, was good enough.
Couldn't agree more. Actually language, as an "arbitrary system", requires that all parties involved in its use agree on the "meaning" behind each word. The same goes for proper usage.

When a language dies (I guess it means that not only nobody uses it anymore, but also that nobody alters it, thus keeping it alive), then what's correct will stay correct for ever. You cannot stop saying "I'm well" or "I'm fine" and start saying "I'm good" in Latin...because it's not correct now, and never will. But with a live language we have to be flexible enough to accept the variations that the system being alive brings.


Jeee...don't get me started on linguistics.

Now really...I don't think anyone's mocking anyone's errors, Salsa Lover. We're just having a laugh. I speak 4 languages myself (Spanish, English, French and Portuguese....and I'm learning a bit of German). I am aware I make horrible mistakes all the time...but still I must laugh at them. There's nothing wrong with it, is there ?
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  #65  
Old 21.08.2007, 13:23
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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I used to date a German girl who wanted me to come over to her department. She had a two-bedroomed department with balcony just over the border.

Everytime she said it, I offered to come to her office. She finally realised why
Yes, they usually use the word "offer", it makes me feels like they are like a millionaire try to give a few pennies to the beggar (sorry. it's just a direct feeling), but now, I am using it frequently to others. Shame on me.

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A work colleague sometimes says "I watched a documentation about ... last night."
In talking about film, they would use "film cutter" instead of "film editor", they use "Kino-film" instead of "feature film",

A person even made up a word, the "thrift store (shop for 2nd hand stuff)", he directly translate it from "broken house" to me.

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Are you sure thats what he meant ? Without knowing the context, he could have meant something quite different...

dave
Yes, I realized the actually meaning of "having a cold feet" it when I told my friend from the States, but my BF certain just wanted me to wear a slipper in the house...

For me, as a Chinese mother tongue, I always confuses "He" and "She" cos we never have a gender for the 3rd person..... and it takes me a long time to prononce "geRber" from "gReber" , "buRgdorf" from "brugdorf", "geLb" from "gLeb". haha.... they laugh at me too. that's how I learn german.
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  #66  
Old 21.08.2007, 13:36
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

"make" is often used for "do" by german speaking people, right?

when i started working as a flight attendant, they were telling me "can you make toilets?" (do = clean up) and i really didn't know what to do
well, if you can "make beds", why not "make toilets"

as a non-native english speaker, i must always be careful not getting used to these german-english expressions...
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  #67  
Old 21.08.2007, 13:50
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

I thought there was a disproportionate number of train drivers in Switzerland because everyone "drives with the train".

I can poke fun because I mixed up the words sanitär and sanität, much to the amusement of our landlord.

Did we really need an ambulance for a broken shower..? Still can't remember which is the correct one.
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  #68  
Old 21.08.2007, 14:48
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

Has anyone seen the word "special" being used with a different meaning altogether? IMHO when I have seen it being used, they always meant its not favourable, or in the worse side of things. E.g. if someone intends to say, the person is a real nut case, (s)he would tell diplomatically, "Oh .. he is a very special person!"

You can imagine the look on the faces of my colleagues when I told them, I would sing a special song for my wife on our wedding! Later, when I understood the subtle meaning, I just could not help but laugh.

Another funny usage is when "th" has to be pronounced, it inadvertently changes to "s". Much to my horror, once a colleague told me, "Yesterday I went by the lake and I was "sinking"! Well it got cleared up soon anyway. The same thing occurs for words which has "th", e.g. Thinking, this, ...
Wonder what I will do when I hear someone saying, "the lady is wearing a song!"
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  #69  
Old 21.08.2007, 15:24
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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I know what you mean but as for sitting on the sofa etc I haven't done that for years. The last time it was said to me was during a disscusion on the EU, so, as I'd said very little on the subject, I still don't get it
sorry, but thoean's explanation you can translate, assigne to so many other situations. what you dont get?

we all werent part of your EU discussion, but the meaning of that phrase should be coherent...
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Old 21.08.2007, 16:07
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

2 funny ones.

1) Once I was talking to a Korean guy and I couldn't get much of his talking. I was really concerned about my poor english when he mentioned that "he really like italian POOD"!!!... so everything was then clear...

2) another one is my own mistake. I meant to say "I was thinking..." but couldn't get the sound "th" right so I said something like "I was stinking..."
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  #71  
Old 21.08.2007, 16:26
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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"The wiews of the walley were amazing."
"there were lots of wikings in the willages" is the best one i've heard!
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  #72  
Old 21.08.2007, 16:38
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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I can poke fun because I mixed up the words sanitär and sanität, much to the amusement of our landlord.
I can never remember that one either.

And example of a Swiss colleague arranging to meet his German girlfriend:

They arranged to meet in the car park.

He went to the coach/bus park. She went to the car park.

The other one I've seen is where the northern English speaker understands that "half five" means 16:30 in German, but their German speaking spouse understands that it means 17:30 in English.

Up to 2 hours out on meeting each other!
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  #73  
Old 22.08.2007, 01:13
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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Has anyone seen the word "special" being used with a different meaning altogether? IMHO when I have seen it being used, they always meant its not favourable, or in the worse side of things. E.g. if someone intends to say, the person is a real nut case, (s)he would tell diplomatically, "Oh .. he is a very special person!"
YES YES YES, one of my friend told me that her son ONLY take vanilla ice-cream, instead of saying he is very "picky", she said, "he is very special"

and they also like to use "nice" almost everywhere. this person is very nice(friendly), this painting in very nice(beautiful), the weather is very nice(sunny), this is very nice... jajajajaja, WHAT IS "NICE" finally?
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Old 09.09.2007, 13:55
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

Some expressions such as "Lady's First", (name of a reputable hotel for women only in the Seefeld area) provoke me into considering whether this might be acceptable (under certain circumstances!) But yesterday I encountered a new premises which proudly displayed the name "Body Depot" No, this is not a morgue or a mortuary, nor yet an undertaker's! Yes, you're right, it's yet another beauty salon! Bit of a maca.bre choice.
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  #75  
Old 09.09.2007, 16:12
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

What about this one:

Me: Can you dance Tango?
He Swiss Guy: Sure I can! "Taste me"!

I think he was trying to say...Try me? ...
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  #76  
Old 12.09.2007, 22:31
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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YES YES YES, one of my friend told me that her son ONLY take vanilla ice-cream, instead of saying he is very "picky", she said, "he is very special"

and they also like to use "nice" almost everywhere. this person is very nice(friendly), this painting in very nice(beautiful), the weather is very nice(sunny), this is very nice... jajajajaja, WHAT IS "NICE" finally?
you know it's not easy for us to speak good English... please be... nice ja ja ja...
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  #77  
Old 12.09.2007, 22:46
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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What about this one:

Me: Can you dance Tango?
He Swiss Guy: Sure I can! "Taste me"!

I think he was trying to say...Try me? ...
Maybe he meant "test me"?
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  #78  
Old 12.09.2007, 22:50
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

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The other one I've seen is where the northern English speaker understands that "half five" means 16:30 in German, but their German speaking spouse understands that it means 17:30 in English.

Up to 2 hours out on meeting each other!
:LOL:

There's a guy in my German class who always gets that wrong. I think Teach sets him up sometimes.
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  #79  
Old 12.09.2007, 22:58
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

Here's one I heard first from a German colleague in the UK, but I heard it again on Tuesday from a girl who was trying to get me to make a regular doantion to a charity. It seemed to specialise in informing workers of their legal rights.

She was referring, as an example, to South African refuse collectors, and
how they were allowed to have "hand shoes". Although it's wrong, I like that term so much it should be adopted as an official English word.
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Old 12.09.2007, 23:23
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Re: Words used by Swiss which come out wrong

Understandable that one. Handschuh = glove.
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