Cultural experiences and funny musings by two twenty-somethings living abroad
“I speak English well. I learn it from a book”
We’re pretty lucky people – we’ve had the luxury of being able to live abroad as well as spend many holidays in many parts of the world. Whilst we are usually able to get by in the host country with a bit of their language (#porygrot), we have often met people who wanted to try their English with us, which is generally pretty good, but often leads to a couple of mistakes! Here are our funniest.
Finland: A friend from the land of a thousand lakes and a thousand umlauts
“My sister wasn’t feeling very well yesterday, so I had to take him to bed”
In case you didn’t know, in Finnish, they don’t have separate words for “him”, “her” and “it”. It’s all one word!
France: A student, studying in an English-speaking business school,
“So, where do you stem from?”
I wouldn’t say that I resemble a flower but a lot of the time people do manage to make such mistakes in these basic phrases.
China: A friend who came to the UK on an exchange
“So, who do you think is the cleverest monster in this room?”
He meant to say person, but given how different Mandarin and English are, you’re probably bound to make some funny vocab choices!
Germany: A friend who I got chatting to when learning English
“I learnt a new vord the other day and it was a werb”
Perhaps one of the funniest things about German pronunciation of English words, as they often mix up their W’s and V’s. I do sometimes cringe though when I hear some talk about the “willage” they come from…
In fairness to those people, their English is much better than our Finnish, Swedish and Chinese, god knows what on earth we would be saying if we tried to say anything in those languages! Language learning is and should always reman, FUN!