Lists of typical German mistakes in English?

147 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Smaug said:

 

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

I still pronounce piano as “ piane “ (schwa sound)! I mean, it’s yer Essex, innit?!

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An Austrian colleague always says "Did you went...?", "Did you told...?", etc. I stopped correcting her since she can't get it right.

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4 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

An Austrian colleague always says "Did you went...?", "Did you told...?", etc. I stopped correcting her since she can't get it right.

 

I don't think that mistake is specific to German speakers. I've heard loads of Indian people say "Did you told", "Did you got" etc.

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1 hour ago, Smaug said:

 

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

I meant to say: I write you. As in, ich schreibe dir.

I thought the use of the to was correct in this context in English: I'll write you a check / I will write to you tomorrow. But then again, I'm not a native speaker, so feel free to correct me.

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10 minutes ago, Imanuxuf said:

I meant to say: I write you. As in, ich schreibe dir.

I thought the use of the to was correct in this context in English: I'll write you a check / I will write to you tomorrow. But then again, I'm not a native speaker, so feel free to correct me.

 

In English we do have the "present as future" use but it doesn't work like that.

 

You can say either

 

I'll be writing (to) you tomorrow

 

or

 

I'll write (to) you tomorrow

 

or (with a different implication)

 

I'm writing to you tomorrow (implies this is a plan, rather than a general intention)

 

In British (i.e. English) English we need the "to", Americans (maybe influenced by German and other similar languages?) it's optional.

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11 minutes ago, Tikrak said:

 

I don't think that mistake is specific to German speakers. I've heard loads of Indian people say "Did you told", "Did you got" etc.

 

It's a confusion between a usage involving "to do" which German actually has ("Tu Du mein Dingsda rueberschmeissen") and the past perfect (which is more widely and superfluously used in German): "I did it" versus "I have done it"; the confusion would produce "I did done it" which is almost as cool as Redneck; we should just teach people that, actually. There y'all have it. I done said it.

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14 minutes ago, Tikrak said:

 

I don't think that mistake is specific to German speakers. I've heard loads of Indian people say "Did you told", "Did you got" etc.

 

No, that's true, it seems to be common to many EFL speakers who didn't bother learning the usage and think they know English ;-)

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20 hours ago, cybil said:

Ask a German to say:

squirrel

smooth/booth/tooth/

 

the sounds of the squ- and -ooth seem tricky for some the squ-comes out with that 'v' sound for a qu- in German. English spekaers even struggle with the second word. And the --th at the end of the -ooth words can some out as: smoot, boot, toot. :)

 

 

There's nothing wrong with "smoot", "toot" and "boot" - that's perfectly valid english* 

 

What I more often hear in Germany would be "smoos", "toos" and "boos"

 

*in some dialects of english

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7 hours ago, sjswens said:

Stripe vs. Strip. One is a pattern, one is a piece of something. I do not want stripes of beef on my salad.

Also saying 'fries' (as in French fries) as 'frees.' No, those fries aren't free (s).

 

For a few years I had a child customer at the cafe who requested the 'sandy' donut instead of the candy donut. She simply read 'c' as a soft sound as in city not as the possible hard 'c' sound like cake/candy/Coca-cola etc. Now a young lady, she comes and requests the 'candy' donut. It took years but she got it! There is hope for us all. 

 

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Somewhere above I said something about 'the second word.' Then left it out. Sorry. The word was sclerosis. As in multiple sclerosis. English speakers have trouble pronouncing this word too though. 

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21 hours ago, kiplette said:

 

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.

Our German language class was very multicultural with students from late teens up to mid-40s. When we got to farm animals we didn't stop at the sounds animals make in German but went around with each animal and heard the different sounds that animals make in various other languages. We all ended up laughing a lot! This would probably be just as much fun to do with kids from various lands too. 

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12 hours ago, Imanuxuf said:

I will write (to) you. 

goes well with 'We will see us.' 

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A former boss of mine could not pronounce "smoothie"  - it always came out "smootie" and made me cringe!

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Have any of you ever fallen in love with a German-speaker because of a language mistake?

Slightly off-topic ( or not? )  but I was sort of dating a girl in Rio in my youth and one day she suggested we meet " on the post office " (rather than " at " )....I found that sensual. Before we divorced years later, we got married!:lol:

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Yes. I have fallen in love with a German speaker because of his little moody looking cartoonish avatar. When that velvet suited avatar, sitting slumped in a virtual lounge, hair hanging over one eye, broke into my chat with some drunk ladies from England, and asked my pixel presence to dance, there was no turning back. He was the one. Why? Because he couldn't stop typing grammatically tragic English in my chat box through several songs and asked if we could meet again (and again, and again). When he sent me a poem, probably translated using Google translator, all full of errors, I loved him all the more. He just kept trying and not giving up. He's still trying (and I'm still trying with the German). Perhaps Denglish is the language of love?

 

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3 hours ago, robinson100 said:

A former boss of mine could not pronounce "smoothie"  - it always came out "smootie" and made me cringe!

 

Related, but not a mistake German speakers make when speaking English: a former client of mine's name was "Herr Hartkorn" and it always came out as "Herr Hardcore" when I said it.

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10 hours ago, john g. said:

Before we divorced years later, we got married!

 

Very elegantly put!

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On 9/18/2018, 9:44:24, Malt-Teaser said:

sensible for sensitive.

 

Seen at Ostbahnhof Munich; "spear rips".

 

oh!  that somehow reminded me of "tit bits" (instead of tid bits) - I've heard and seen that quite a few times

 

and "of cause" instead of "of course".  I had a colleague who INSISTED the phrase was "of cause" - she actually told me she thought her english was better than mine so she should know

 

ffs I sorta wanted to punch her.

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7 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

oh!  that somehow reminded me of "tit bits" (instead of tid bits) - I've heard and seen that quite a few times

 

and "of cause" instead of "of course".  I had a colleague who INSISTED the phrase was "of cause" - she actually told me she thought her english was better than mine so she should know

 

ffs I sorta wanted to punch her.

 

Yeah, I've been there. I've stopped helpfully correcting peoples' "English". It was never English to begin with, it's a Continental pidgin.

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