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Old 17-11-2012, 05:28   #1
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understanding english...and the english...

The English:

What they say / what they mean / what foreigners understand

Very interesting / I do not agree at all or I don't believe you / They are impressed

I hear what you say / I disagree and do not want to discuss it further / He or she accepts my point of view

With the greatest respect / I think you are an idiot / He is interested in what I have to say

That's not bad / This is very good / It's not good enough

O, by the way / The primary purpose of our conversation is... / This is not very important

Quite good / A bit dissapointing / Rather good

Perhaps you'd like to think about it / Do it, or be prepared to justify yourself / Think about the idea, but do what you like

I was a bit dissapointed / I am most upset and angry / It doesn't really matter

Could we consider more options? / I don't like your idea / They have not yet decided

I'll bear it in mind / I'll do nothing about it / Thet will probably do it

I will think about it / It's a bad idea / It's a good idea

I'm sure it's my fault / It's your fault / It was their fault

That is an original point of view / You must be crazy / They like my idea

You'll get there eventually / You don't stand a chance / Must keep trying, I'm heading in the right direction

I almost agree / I don't agree at all / We are not far from agreement

We will look into it / We will do nothing about it / They are interested and will study the proposal

You must come for dinner some time / I'm not inviting you, just being polite / I will get an invitation soon

I'd like to suggest / Do it! / It's just a suggestion which I can ignore

ehh.... no / Yes / No

Little concerned / Extremely upset / No serious problem

That's a bit odd / I don't believe it / Not uncommon

I am somewhat concerned / I am in a state of panic / He's not very worried

There are a few things we need to address / We are in the **** / We just need to iron out some details

I am surprised to hear / I am very dissapointed / It's unexpected but OK

I feel a little uneasy about this / I am extremely distressed / It's fine

blatently plagarised from Yachting and Boating World Forums
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Old 17-11-2012, 05:58   #2
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

It's a great shame that the author of that piece, whilst commenting on a language, can't spell " disappointed ".
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Old 17-11-2012, 06:16   #3
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

omg...grammar police ...... go figger.
there is one word misspeeled--like that is a major problem.
what about the content....

good one, atoll....
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Old 17-11-2012, 06:21   #4
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

That's not bad.
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Old 17-11-2012, 06:25   #5
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

Too true. My English father-in-law once described an incident in which my mother-in-law was taken, by ambulance to the hospital with chest pains, as a "spot of bother".
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Old 17-11-2012, 06:56   #6
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Great post!
After being friends with an Englishman for a few years I thought I had a handle on the language. I gave what I thought was a compliment to a young lass one night. Something about her being " quite fit" when she told me of all the excercise she did and had showed me the wonderful results of her labor. I did not get the positive reaction I was expecting, and my friend explained to me I had insulted her by basically saying she was a fat sow. I have not tried to use the English language since!
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Old 17-11-2012, 07:15   #7
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

Funny, but so very accurate!

The explanation from someone British on the use of understatement:
Our strict prohibitions on earnestness, gushing, emoting and boasting require almost constant use of understatement. Rather than risk exhibiting any hint of forbidden solemnity, unseemly emotion or excessive zeal, we go to the opposite extreme and feign dry, deadpan indifference. The understatement rule means that:
a debilitating and painful chronic illness must be described as 'a bit of a nuisance'
a truly horrific experience is 'well, not exactly what I would have chosen'
a sight of breathtaking beauty is 'quite pretty'
an outstanding performance of achievement is 'not bad'
an act of abominable cruelty is 'not very friendly'
an unforgivably stupid misjudgment is 'not very clever'
the Antarctic is 'rather cold'
the Sahara 'a bit too hot for my taste'
any exceptionally delightful object, person or event, which in other cultures would warrant streams of superlatives, is pretty much covered by 'nice', or, if we wish to express more ardent approval, 'very nice'.
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Old 17-11-2012, 07:31   #8
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

Yep. It is atoll said.

Notice a list like this can be collected for any language/culture. E.g. Spanish 'maņana' is often interpreted (by non-mediterraneans) as 'tomorrow' which is obviously wrong as it simply means 'go away and leave me alone'.

Etc..

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Old 17-11-2012, 07:40   #9
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yep. It is atoll said.

Notice a list like this can be collected for any language/culture. E.g. Spanish 'maņana' is often interpreted (by non-mediterraneans) as 'tomorrow' which is obviously wrong as it simply means 'go away and leave me alone'.

Etc..

b.
Greeks and Italians must be related to the Spanish! Here in Greece "avrio" has the same interpretation and actual meaning. In Italy "lunedi" (Monday) also meant 'go away and leave me alone'.
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Old 17-11-2012, 07:54   #10
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Greeks and Italians must be related to the Spanish! Here in Greece "avrio" has the same interpretation and actual meaning. In Italy "lunedi" (Monday) also meant 'go away and leave me alone'.
Yep. And this is just one example of a list at least as long as atoll's.

The sooner one grasps (and learns to apply) the local meanings the happier they will be in any given country.

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Old 17-11-2012, 08:03   #11
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Re: understanding english...and the english...

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
......
The sooner one grasps (and learns to apply) the local meanings the happier they will be in any given country.

b.
+1
Quite relaxed about it now .
The other thing that is often so hard to grasp is humour in another language. Bet there has been many a misunderstanding there!
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