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Old 10-08-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: North Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotlesseden View Post
some of them are not grammar errors They are British English to me.
I disagree. I have spent a great deal of time in the UK and I never met anyone there who talked like that. At least not anyone who was originally from there, that is.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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It is pretty interesting to hear people from other countries speak English. On a side note, many seem to use a higher vocabulary than we do in casual speech.

I have to give them props, even for the things you mentioned. I know that I couldn't speak a foreign language nearly as well as they speak English.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:42 PM
 
2,816 posts, read 5,387,108 times
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What about "laughable grammar errors" Americans make?

"I could care less"?

"Similar than"?

"Different than"?

"As good than"?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:14 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,398 posts, read 19,311,556 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Errors like this are usually an artifact of the speaker's native or primary language coming through; if they don't know an expression in English or aren't confident of its usage, they will borrow one from their native language and translate it literally. Happens all the time and is actually interesting for gaining insight into the structure of a foreigner's native language.

Just for funsies, French (not my first language) has different words for hair growing on your head and hair growing elsewhere. They also frequently say "We are Monday" and lack a noun that translates to "fun"...that sentiment is expressed with a reflexive verb instead. Native French speakers sometimes struggle to express that they had fun because French people do not "have fun", they "amuse themselves". ;-) Also, to a French speaker, the words "hungry" and "angry" often sound identical and they will usually pronounce those words identically.
Exactly, that is what happens. That is why so many people come up with the same unidiomatic expressions.
One cannot say their English is wrong, English is a work in progress, there is no institution determining what is right and what is wrong. To Brits the American 'a half hour' probably also sounds wrong, but is it once enough people say it?
To foreigners complaining about Indian English I would suggest speaking flawless Tamil or Hindi first. Once they achieve that, they may start to make fun of Indian English...
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:39 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,992 posts, read 32,821,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Exactly, that is what happens. That is why so many people come up with the same unidiomatic expressions.
One cannot say their English is wrong, English is a work in progress, there is no institution determining what is right and what is wrong. To Brits the American 'a half hour' probably also sounds wrong, but is it once enough people say it?
To foreigners complaining about Indian English I would suggest speaking flawless Tamil or Hindi first. Once they achieve that, they may start to make fun of Indian English...
It's natural to giggle behind one's hand when people make funny-sounding errors in English. I would never point and laugh at them, though. That's rude. And I may not speak Tamil or Hindi, but I speak more languages than even most Indians can. And my French and German are better than their English.

Your point is taken about monolingual Americans though; most of us speak only one language...and we don't even speak it all that well.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I disagree. I have spent a great deal of time in the UK and I never met anyone there who talked like that. At least not anyone who was originally from there, that is.
maybe you are right. I don't know. I'm not an American, I'm from HK. My English is not that good either. I do found that Americans speak with many grammar errors too.

I don't know why they like use alot of double negative in their sentences. That's very confusing to us non-native speaker. like "nobody don't know anything"
Wouldn't "Nobody knows anything" easier to say? i don't know.

Last edited by spotlesseden; 10-08-2012 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,992 posts, read 32,821,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotlesseden View Post
maybe you are right. I don't know. I'm not an American, I'm from HK. My English is not that good either. I do found that Americans speak with many grammar errors too.

I don't know why they like use alot of double negative in their sentences. That's very confusing to us non-native speaker. like "nobody don't know anything"
Wouldn't "Nobody knows anything" easier to say? i don't know.

We make mistakes in English for the same reasons that Brazilians speak Portuguese "incorrectly" and the French speak French "incorrectly"...people use informal vernacular instead of picture-perfect grammar. Very few speakers of any language can speak it 100% correctly.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,259,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotlesseden View Post
I don't know why they like use alot of double negative in their sentences. That's very confusing to us non-native speaker. like "nobody don't know anything"
Wouldn't "Nobody knows anything" easier to say? i don't know.
Some languages require a double negative, such as Spanish. "No tengo nada" = "I don't have nothing." "Tengo nada" would be incorrect, and people could laugh at your comical grammatical errors, except that most people in the world are more courteous and considerate than Americans, and would not take so much pleasure in being insulting or demeaning.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: North Hollywood
331 posts, read 617,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geography Freak View Post
What about "laughable grammar errors" Americans make?

"I could care less"?

"Similar than"?

"Different than"?

"As good than"?
"do you want it, or no?"
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: North Hollywood
331 posts, read 617,413 times
Reputation: 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I disagree. I have spent a great deal of time in the UK and I never met anyone there who talked like that. At least not anyone who was originally from there, that is.
You're correct, I'm from UK and I've never heard those phrases before...
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