Lists of typical German mistakes in English?

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17 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

"I look not back. I look in front."- Lothar Matthäus

Perhaps after his: "Waere, waere Fahrradkette", he just wanted to demonstrate his turn of phrase could be equally inept in a foreign language.

 

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Non-native English songs are full of typical ones, of course.    It's widely known that since many years she hasn't seen a rifle in Fernando's hand.  (But Abba are terrific source of EL material:  The Day Before You Came is a superb example of the model perfect for logical certainty).

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I watched a public viewing/documentation about something. 

 

It makes fun to do that. 

 

The NATO is an organization. 

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Quote

Pick up in the near of Ostbahnhof,

 

^^From an ad today offering 350 childrens books in English for sale.

 

Apropos their stress with squirrel; you have to have some sympathy with the Germans on the difficulty they face with this one.

 

Most German - English dictionaries have around 120 words which begin with Q listed in the German section. Only 2 of the pronunciations given do not start with 'kva', 'kve', 'kvi' or similar. e.g. Quiz = 'kvIs'

 

Even though the only one of those 2 they routinely pronounce correctly is the french loan word quiche  - pr.hint given as 'ki'. Every time I've heard the other word, queue, spoken they made it sound like cooo - as they do when referring to a snooker or pool cue.

 

To be fair, most Germans make an effort to pronounce *Queen correctly, even though it's not a German word.

 

*Freddy Mercury's band, natch! ;)

 

2B

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 I recently attended one of Rafe the Consul's Brexit meetings in a nearby city, and one of the speakers was head of the local Einbürgerungsstelle. His marvellous slide giving the basic requirements for Einbürgerung included Chastity. 

 

A friend got up part way through to say that she had been through the process and found it remarkably painless and speedy, and that at no point had she been expected to prove her chastity, so we were not to worry on that account. Cue raucous laughter from the Brits and some bemused 'I'm laughing but have no idea why' faces from the two German Beamter.

 

Again, comedy gold. I love the vagaries of language.

 

  • 'keine Verurteilung wegen einer Straftat' = chastity :D
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A while back, my colleagues and I had to take some "Fortbildung" courses through work, and since many of us are internationals they wanted it to be in English. Got a German woman to give the workshop/seminar, and though her English was fairly good, I knew from the instant I saw her promo material (in English) it would be an interesting ride. Normally I'd cut some slack, 'cause hey my German is far from perfect, but she advertised herself as specialized in English with loads of experience, etc. etc. Both her written and spoken language still had glaring obvious Denglisch, like incorrect use of continuous, hyper-correction of pronunciation, and expressions that no English speakers use... 

 

This was some years ago, so really I just remember several groaners and constant chuckles and behind-the-back in-jokes for days afterwards. 

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On 19.9.2018, 20:18:53, 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

 

Since it's part of the quotation it belongs inside. For a question mark that's pretty much standard. The real fun begins when you start talking about full stops in a quote which also ends the enclosing sentence. 

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A very good German friend of mine often confuses "furniture" and "funeral" when speaking English.  Apart from this he speaks pretty good English and French. 

 

The same guy one wanted to say "I won't have another drink because I have to work later and I must stay sober".  He couldn't remember the word "sober" so he improvised and said "I must stay undrunken"!  To me that's a sign of a good communicator.    

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From 'The Local'.  I assume it's written by a native speaker?

 

"An airline passenger is suing police after missing her flight to Mallorca in Spain due to having to wait in a lengthy cue at airport security, German media reports. "

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Not to do with Germany, but four things I recall well from my years in Mexico as a child.  All of these were in English.

 

1. A restaurant advertised a midday meal:  Play Lunch.  Should have been Plate Lunch.

 

2.  Gonzalez Blacksmith Chop.

 

3.  De los Santos Silver Maker and Sons.

4.  My absolute favourite.  Mother was a elementary school teacher and known to speak several languages.  Taught adults English at night.  A child student was absent from class one day and returned the following day with a note from her mother.  'Please excuse Lucy from being absent yesterday.  She had the cancer.' 

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" Menu card " is another false friend. It has been about 15 years since I last visited Airbus in Bremen and their canteen! There it was big and screamable on the wall!:P

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(me) "How was your weekend?"

 

(random german) "It was very funny!"

 

(me) "Oh great? What did you do? Go and see a comedy or a show or get drunk and run naked through the town centre?"

 

(rg) "No - I play football. Then I make a picnic with my family."

 

(me) "Ok - so something happened on the footbal field that made you laugh? Or during your picnic?"

 

(rg) "No - why?"

 

(me) "BECAUSE YOU SAID YOUR WEEKEND WAS VERY FUNNY DAMMIT!"

 

This one gets me all the time. This and the mispronunciation of 'hotel'. I don't know who ever decided that in English you're supposed to say 'HOdel' (kinda like "HOdor!"), but when it's pronounced the same way in English as it is in your own language, you wouldn't think it'd be so difficult.

 

(oh yeah - just a very minor addition and only because I had a local gymnasium English teacher sit me down for an hour to tell me how wrong I was about this...e.g = exempla gratia = for example. i.e. = id est = that is. And I never even studied latin, but this woman was insistent that i.e meant for example and wasn't going to leave me alone until I admitted I was wrong. Come to think of it, she was also the one who told me that while I, with my Australian English, mangle the word router, the rest of the world pronounces it correctly as 'rooter'...)

 

 

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20 minutes ago, tokeshu said:

(me) "How was your weekend?"

 

(random german) "It was very funny!"

 

(me) "Oh great? What did you do? Go and see a comedy or a show or get drunk and run naked through the town centre?"

 

(rg) "No - I play football. Then I make a picnic with my family."

 

(me) "Ok - so something happened on the footbal field that made you laugh? Or during your picnic?"

 

(rg) "No - why?"

 

(me) "BECAUSE YOU SAID YOUR WEEKEND WAS VERY FUNNY DAMMIT!"

 

This one gets me all the time. This and the mispronunciation of 'hotel'. I don't know who ever decided that in English you're supposed to say 'HOdel' (kinda like "HOdor!"), but when it's pronounced the same way in English as it is in your own language, you wouldn't think it'd be so difficult.

 

(oh yeah - just a very minor addition and only because I had a local gymnasium English teacher sit me down for an hour to tell me how wrong I was about this...e.g = exempla gratia = for example. i.e. = id est = that is. And I never even studied latin, but this woman was insistent that i.e meant for example and wasn't going to leave me alone until I admitted I was wrong. Come to think of it, she was also the one who told me that while I, with my Australian English, mangle the word router, the rest of the world pronounces it correctly as 'rooter'...)

 

 

 

Why were you learning in a gymnasium? I mean, I know it's a lifestyle, but personally I'd rather go to college.

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34 minutes ago, tokeshu said:

This one gets me all the time. This and the mispronunciation of 'hotel'. I don't know who ever decided that in English you're supposed to say 'HOdel' (kinda like "HOdor!"), but when it's pronounced the same way in English as it is in your own language, you wouldn't think it'd be so difficult.

 

I, with my Australian English, mangle the word router, the rest of the world pronounces it correctly as 'rooter'...)

 

 

 

German and english don't have the exact same pronunciation for Hotel, even if the difference is slight. To me neither of them sounds like HOdor though, unless your name is pitbull.

 

Whether your pronounce router (the network device) as router (the wood working tool) or as "rooter" is regional

 

 

 

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It's a bit hard to type the pronunciation of hotel when I only have my fingers to try and express myself.

 

The Germans, at least in my region, are particularly fond of stressing the first syllable and shortening the last while making the 't' very soft. In my version of English, the accent for hotel comes on the second syllable, which is what I also hear in German, again, at least where I live. Maybe I should have said, when it's accented the same way in both languages...

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1 hour ago, sos-the-rope said:

 

Why were you learning in a gymnasium? I mean, I know it's a lifestyle, but personally I'd rather go to college.

 

developing the mind and body in equal proportion ;)

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A great book for these types of examples is called "Speak.You English?", by Günther Bischoff. He's a native English instructor whose German parents emmigrated to the US many years ago. He wrote a few books back in the '70s or '80s but this is one he personally recommended to me (we attend the same church and knows I teach English) as it was a best-seller. I'm sure you can locate it on Amazon. 

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One that still is a bit of a mystery is the pronunciation of 'since' like 'science'. 

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