Lists of typical German mistakes in English?

147 posts in this topic

1 minute ago, sos-the-rope said:

 

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

 

I usually don't do corrections unless it's really embarassing or even dangerous...

 

but this woman ASKED me to tell her if/when she made mistakes.  Obviously I stopped after that incident but damn - you can't win sometimes :)

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2 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

I usually don't do corrections unless it's really embarassing or even dangerous...

 

but this woman ASKED me to tell her if/when she made mistakes.  Obviously I stopped after that incident but damn - you can't win sometimes :)

 

Oh, I shamelessly correct everyone I speak to, usually just by repeating back what they said (active listening) but in English :-)

 

If someone asked me not to, fair enough, and if someone believes they know better, of course there's no point.

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Many years ago a German corrected me when I used the word "unable", informing me that she had 

completed adegree in English at university and thus knew better than I ever could. I apologised to her

for my ignorant misuse of the non-existent word "unable".  :-)

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1 hour 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

 

Launched as Tit-bits in 1888 (later Titbits) soon reached 400 - 600k weekly sales peaking at over 1.15 mio in 1955. When it was taken over in 1991 the FT called it "the 103 year old progenitor of Britain's popular press"

 

AFAIR I'd only seen it spelt that way until I came here to work with the US Military.

 

I just assumed the 'tit' bit was a tad bit too saucy for American mores. :P

 

2B

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"...the phrase was "of cause"..."

  was it followed by "Dahling"?

Perhaps her teacher was a fan of old movies...B)

 

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Another that popped in to my mind last night for some reason is overuse of "when" to mean "if".  That one is German specific because it mainly arises from "wenn" covering both in many instances (but not all).   Can't think of an example right now.  Similarly, a lot of German learners use "wenn" for "if" cases when it's not the norm (als, falls).

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A list of English-German false friends which might be worth perusing.

After sharing this with a colleague to show the mismatch between "director" and "Direktor" he pointed out my use of "seriös", which is indeed on this list and doesn't mean what I've been using it as for the last 7 years. . . .

 

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After more than a decade, I still often fall for "girlfriend" as being a romantic partner, not simply a friend who is female :lol:.   I still often find myself at the belated double take of "what they said was... but it actually means...".

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1 hour ago, food mom said:

"...the phrase was "of cause"..."

  was it followed by "Dahling"?

Perhaps her teacher was a fan of old movies...B)

 

 

nah, her teacher was a damned fool ;)

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58 minutes ago, Maarsch said:

A list of English-German false friends which might be worth perusing.

After sharing this with a colleague to show the mismatch between "director" and "Direktor" he pointed out my use of "seriös", which is indeed on this list and doesn't mean what I've been using it as for the last 7 years. . . .

 

 

Ernsthaft, ei?!

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1 hour ago, swimmer said:

Another that popped in to my mind last night for some reason is overuse of "when" to mean "if".  That one is German specific because it mainly arises from "wenn" covering both in many instances (but not all).   Can't think of an example right now.  Similarly, a lot of German learners use "wenn" for "if" cases when it's not the norm (als, falls).

 

This is why German also uses "da" (there) for "when" (I know, right?).

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1 hour ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

Launched as Tit-bits in 1888 (later Titbits) soon reached 400 - 600k weekly sales peaking at over 1.15 mio in 1955. When it was taken over in 1991 the FT called it "the 103 year old progenitor of Britain's popular press"

 

AFAIR I'd only seen it spelt that way until I came here to work with the US Military.

 

I just assumed the 'tit' bit was a tad bit too saucy for American mores. :P

 

2B

 

OMG that is amazing - I had no idea.

 

yes I think you're absolutely correct about the divergence...americans really do get the vapors over tits.

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Too less... resources, money, coffee. Should be too little, or not enough.

 

Somehow...  as in we will go/do/make somehow.  I suppose it’s a translation of irgendwie, but it sounds so vague in English. I’ve also heard “somewhen” which I guess is irgendwann?  

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There´s a twist on this...next time a German tells you English is an easy language..just say " so why is your English so lousy then ?":lol:

 

PS: I´m so tired I can´t remember if the question mark comes before the inverted comma in my question or if it´s  the other way around!!!:P

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7 minutes ago, Kalifornierin said:

And praegnant!  I was asked to write a pregnant headline for a presentation, when they meant concise.

 

Long ago, getting a photo made for all the things that needed a photo in Germany, the young photographer at the local photo shop said to me, 'Shut your mouth.' She actually meant to say, 'Don't smile.' 

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5 minutes ago, john g. said:

There´s a twist on this...next time a German tells you English is an easy language..just say " so why is your English so lousy then ?":lol:

 

PS: I´m so tired I can´t remember if the question mark comes before the inverted comma in my question or if it´s  the other way around!!!:P

 

Darling, you really should try sleeping at night, y'know?! :D

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True, dear rob...I reckon I´m gonna cave in in a few minutes. There´s a wake going on just outside for a dead neighbour..all very morbid.  I have paid my respects and don´t want to join the dead just yet...the living dead is ok...tired..night night!.:D

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