Lists of typical German mistakes in English?

147 posts in this topic

36 minutes ago, john g. said:

 "Ich muss nicht " is NOT " I mustn´t "  ...

Anything with " müßen " and the English " must " is dodgy! 

And Germans love saying " Happy End " instead of " happy ending " to a story.

 

 

Happy End is my favourite brand of bog roll, John! 

 

My children sadly drive with the bus when they want to meet themselves. Brought up in our totally English speaking household. Sigh.

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1 hour ago, cybil said:

Ask a German to say:

squirrel

 

That word was on our 'garden words' sheet this last set of lessons. All three groups - I could have wept with laughter - they were rolling about as well. So funny. About 3 of them mastered it straight off. Comedy gold.

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Try to get a class to say " I would if I could but I can´t " as ONE word!!!;) Nice little theatre just before lunch or a coffee break! They WILL need your help!!!!

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A DJ on the radio saying, the boy with the thorn in his side , from the smiths . Radio Eins in Berlin play this great song regularly, the pronunciation is always a disaster.

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Off the top of my head :

 

Pronouncing marriage, diaper incorrectly (For eg marriage = marry + age)

Company with an elongated "o"

It gives two dogs on the street (There are 2 dogs on the street)

What is that for a dress? (What kind of dress is that?)

Make holidays (Somehow I find this endearing and have started using it, despite not actually living in Germany yet...)

It goes (It's okay/fine)

Inverting subject and verb at the beginning of a sentence if they are preceded by another word (can't think of an example right now, but I've heard it frequently)

He has birthday

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The Mistakes Clinic by Geoff Parkes is an exercise book drawn from a large corpus of mistakes made by German speakers of English. Each unit has a set of sentences, their corrections, and a detailed explanation for each correction. It's a great resource -- I use it in my English courses at the University.

 

https://www.amazon.de/Mistakes-Clinic-German-speaking-learners-English/dp/1871819458/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1537245945&sr=8-1&keywords=the+mistakes+clinic

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13 hours ago, Joanie said:

I put on some cloth-es to go to the fair to ride the Big Wheel.

 

Do you make Sport?

 

She is coming to us (she is coming to our place)

 

Speaking from a tutoring perspective, theres a hell of a lot of confusion about when to use the word "got" esp in relation to "gotten" or "have got".

 

So basically, EFL would be a cinch if you could just teach 'em Elizabethan English?

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8 hours ago, Tikrak said:

(For eg marriage = marry + age)

 

Lots of other words containing a familiar smaller word often produce issues because the stress goes on the familiar bit and it's assumed to be said like the single word:  Pur-CHASE, Sur-FACE, Comfor-TABLE etc

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15 hours ago, Joanie said:
3 minutes ago, swimmer said:

 

Lots of other words containing a familiar smaller word often produce issues because the stress goes on the familiar bit and it's assumed to be said like the single word:  Pur-CHASE, Sur-FACE, Comfor-TABLE etc

Those words don't contain chase, face or table, though. It's just coincidence.

 

For reference, "dementsprechend".

 

 

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6 minutes ago, swimmer said:

 

Lots of other words containing a familiar smaller word often produce issues because the stress goes on the familiar bit and it's assumed to be said like the single word:  Pur-CHASE, Sur-FACE, Comfor-TABLE etc

 

Those words don't contain chase, face or table, though. It's just coincidence or historical development.

 

For reference, "dementsprechend".

 

OK, "surface" does include "face" but it's French, not English "face".

 

English does not have the "blunt instrument" approach to word formation that (book) German does.

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10 minutes ago, sos-the-rope said:

 

Those words don't contain chase, face or table, though. It's just coincidence or historical development.

 

 

They do to learners, though.  Which is why they say them like that. A vast number of times.   Teaching and linguistics etc is about understanding how learners think and operate.   

 

Simply responding with "but..." followed by some theory doesn't help.  Almost no learner or user of English will find what you wrote there relevant.   They do actually know that a "surface" is not a "face".  They really are not stupid.   

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3 minutes ago, swimmer said:

 

They do to learners, though.  Which is why they say them like that. A vast number of times.   Teaching and linguistics etc is about understanding how learners think and operate.   

 

Simply responding with "but..." followed by some theory doesn't help.  Almost no learner or user of English will find what you wrote there relevant.

 

Meh. I'm just following David Crystal.

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6 hours ago, Imanuxuf said:

I will write (to) you. 

 

I thinks that correct: 'I'll write you' or 'I'll write to you'.

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17 hours ago, katheliz said:

@sarabyrd's English teacher in Gymnasium insisted that the students pronounce piano as 'piarno' and valley as 'walley'.

 

Some native English speakers (at least in Britain) also elongate the "a"  in 'piano' in a failed attempt to sound posh.

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Over the years here I have met a number of Germans with excellent knowledge of the English 

language, but as far as I remember, not one of them managed to get the present or past progressive 

verb forms right all the time - at least not in the proper context. 

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