Saturday, December 8, 2012

Germans Think They Speak Better English Than They Do

First of all, this is certainly a case of throwing stones in glass houses here, but all Germans make the same mistakes when they speak English, and maybe that's the difference between them learning British English rather than American English but come on... They watch nearly only American programing! Learning these common mistakes will help you communicate though.
First, the most annoying, Germans think Handy means cell phone. Telling them that the word Handy is not English for cell phone will make you endure a horrendous joke about how a Schwäbian guy actually came up with the term. Do not tell them its not called a Handy in English under any circumstance, just know that they are talking about a mobile or cell phone and move on.

Beamer is not a BMW, it is a projector. I see that it's beaming the image onto the wall, but the first time I heard it I was so confused.

Eggzill is a spreadsheet program from Microsoft. *A warning from first hand experience here is in order.* After hearing your German colleagues talk about using Microzoft Vord, Eggzill, and Axis, do not call the other program Microsoft Proyekt, like you think your German colleagues would pronounce it. They will make fun of you for being stupid, if you do.

Actual does not mean actual to a German. To a German actual means current, or up-to-date. For some reason they think aktuell = actual, which gets super annoying, since every German will always make this mistake till they die, no matter how many times you tell them.

Fitness Studio is a gym. Sounds like you’re going to get filmed while you work out, but no worries, it’s just a gym. 
Der Smoking is a tuxedo.

Mobbing gives you the image of an angry mob of 50 people ready to kill you, but in German it is any form of harassment or mistreatment, especially in the work place by coworkers or management.

Informations, trainings, sheeps, etc. Germans have the most annoying habbit of make up plural forms of words you can’t really do that with, which sounds pretty ridiculous.

Lucky means happy to Germans. Kind of weird since most Germans use the word happy now and then, as in "This film is a happy end." By the way Germans, if you are listening, you mean "This movie has a happy ending."

An Oldtimer to a German means a vintage car, not your grandpa. 
A shooting is not what happens on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard once a day; Germans use it to mean a photo shoot or filming. 
Shrimps is the German word for shrimp, even though they could use their own lanuage, the Germans prefer to misuse ours.

A Body bag in Germany is not what the authorities take dead people to the morgue in, but rather a back pack or a fanny pack.

The word funny is misused all too often as well. When a German wants to express how much fun something will be i.e. going to the movies or going to a club, they almost always say "Wow, that would be so funny" when they obviously mean "Wow, that would be so much fun!"

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