02 March 2011

Denglish = Deutsch + English - Proofreading

Although I freely admit that my students are usually quite proficient in English (in many ways better than I am in German), they do regularly make a few mistakes that sometimes make me smile and sometimes make me cringe.

"What did you do this weekend?"
"On Friday I made lots of party and all day Saturday I learned English."

"What did you do for Valentine's Day?"
"I was by my boyfriend and I become chocolates from her."

"Can you German?"
"I cannot.  Can you English?"

"Nice to meet you." (upon >10th time meeting you)

"What did you do this morning?"
"I stood up at 6:30 and then I drove with the bus to school."

"And you?"
"I also."

These mistakes tend to make sense when translated literally from German, but sound rather comical in English.  Hearing "Denglish" is usually a sign that language learners are still thinking in their native language and then trying to translate in their head, which is certainly not the most effective way to speak a new language, although I too am guilty of it.  Especially when I say things like, "Ich will morgen meinen Freund in Wien besuchen/I want to visit my boyfriend in Vienna tomorrow!"

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