Monday, 10 August 2015

ABC Wednesday, E for English

We thank Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC, and we must thank Roger too for the weekly job to find  ten bloggers for each of the ABC Team members  to visit and to read their posts. We are beginning to find another round for all the 26 letters of the alphabet. This will be now the letter  E.

Even if we don't like to admit it, English is the most important language in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and last but not least Australia. In the Netherlands French used to be the language for the upper walks of life. The man in the street spoke a  Dutch dialect, and when he met a foreigner he spoke Dutch with the same accent only a bit louder, thinking: the louder I speak the more I make myself clear.

After WW II English became more and more popular. We thought: "Oh, English is not so difficult, if we only learn a lot of words we can translate everything".No wonder that there were a lot of hilarious anecdotes to be told of Dutch expressions literally translated into English, which changed the meaning of the expression completely, Fortunately British citizens also have problems with their own language. Here are a few exemples:


What shall I complain about now??

These are apparently genuine excerpts from English letters to local councils. We all know that English is a complicated language and not alone for non-English speakers. I think that we do not need to feel embarrassed if we read these letters of native speakers

Council complaints ( which one is your favourite?)

===============

1.This is to let you know there is a smell coming from the man next door.

2.I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is running away from the wall

3.I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.

4.Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces

5.Can you please tell me when our repairs are going to be done, as my wife is about to become an expectant mother.

6.The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared

7.The person next door has a large erection in his back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.

8.Will you please send someone to mend our broken path. Yesterday my wife tripped and fell on it and now she is pregnant.

9.Our kitchen floor is very damp, we have two children and would like a third, so will you please send someone to do something about it?

10.This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broken and we cannot get BBC2.

11.I am very annoyed to find that you have branded my son illiterate. This is a dirty lie, as I married a week before he was born.



23 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Ah,you've made my day, Wil!! I love these!! Thanks so much for sharing! Hope you have a great new week!!

Leslie: said...

These are hilarious, Wil. I particularly laughed at #7.

Leslie
abcw team

Roger Owen Green said...

English is difficult, as I realized when trying to explain why certain words are spelled certain ways to my daughter.

ROG, ABCW

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This is my absolute favorite kind of humor. Thank you for the laughs. (And I do believe that they are all true. People have problems with the language!)

Melody Steenkamp said...

Ik zie inderdaad in toenemende mate op FB met name, wel Nederlandse spreekwoorden voorbij komen die letterlijk vertaald zijn... en ja soms ontlokt dat inderdaad wel een glimlach dan wel schaterlach...

Het Engels is een prachtige taal vind ik... maar toch ben ik ook wel chauvinistisch genoeg om het niet altijd even leuk te vinden dat wij Nederlanders ons 'altijd' aan 'moeten' passen aan de onbekende gast... terwijl men dat in andere landen niet doet .. maar ach anderzijds maakt die eigenschap ons Nederlanders ook wel weer een speciaal volkje ;-)

Ann said...

Yes the English language can be difficult if it is your second language.Sometimes its hard for me with all the different meanings to words. I love your list--thanks for sharing.
Ann

Trubes said...

Fine list of 'Bloopers'

I found them all amusing !

Best wishes,
Di,
ABCW team.

Mascha said...

What I understand (not all) is funny. I myself begun only 2 years ago (in age over 50) to learn English, only by doing and reading other nice blogs...
But it's never to late...
Greetings from Germany

photowannabe said...

Delightful Wil.
I really can't choose which one I like best. Too many funny ones.

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

Wil, this is brilliant! My favorite by far is #10, "illiterate." The writer goes on to call it a "dirty lie," which highlights the lack of grammar skills. Too funny, and yet, not funny, after reading Mascha's comment, since not everyone is as schooled in English as others.

Most frightening is the spelling conundrum. English is a mish-mash of bizarre spellings and usages. I was much more comfortable learning the Spanish language, truth be told.

Peace, Amy

happywonderer.com said...

Oh my...it's hard to pick just one favorite! English is quite difficult!

Schotzy said...

These are all two funny, and as a retired 3/4 grade teacher I truly attest to how difficult proper English is.....so many rules...

Photo Cache said...

Fun post.

My ABC WEDNESDAY

Norma Ruttan said...

an exhilarating post about the difficulty even English-speakers can encounter in our language!

Hildred said...

A charming fun post, Wil - so many ways to misinterpret....

Ira said...

That is so much fun. What better can a person ask than a happy start for the day.

tulika singh said...

Thanks for the morning laughs. This was hilarious. We have many similar instances in Hindi-English translations too.

Lea said...

Funny! Thanks for the laugh!

Gattina said...

I learned English rather quickly because it has the same source and it is not latin based as French, which was very difficult for me to learn ! English has become the "Esperanto" for the whole world. For my family it's nice. As we all have a different mothertongue, French, Italian, German and Dutch, we speak English when we are all together, as my husband doesn't speak Dutch and my DIL doesn't speak French !

DEE DEE said...

Woow, this is a beautiful take

fredamans said...

LOL They're all quite entertaining but #7 had me gasping for air through giggles.

Fritz Ant said...

Got a little giggle out of number 9, it never occurred to me that English (my native tongue (would be rather hard for other countries to learn...and as far as really learning the English lingo one has never met me, ha ha ha I tend to confused some overseas folks when I toss in my twang, and even the words are totally pronounced differently like that "Wing Beans" basically means Green Beans, and then there are Taters for Potatoes, yes we spell and say our potatoes "Potatoes" Then there is Down yonder...meaning "Well if you go this way then on down yonder then you'lls find it, that is the way of the Hills-people gives directions...Oh and the list can go on and on....Ha Ha Ha All of this twang is the way of the Mountain People folks (Hills-people) talk.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

In USA and Canada, they call the toilet, bathroom. When they go to South East Asia, and ask, "May I use your bathroom?" The host/shop/restaurant wonder why he needs to take a bath.