Self-study: Denglish Phrases that Don’t Makes Sense
There are a few phrases that German speakers love to use when they are speaking English, which unfortunately don’t make any sense at all to native speakers. Here are a few of them:
- “The same procedure as every year…”
Even though “Dinner for One” is shown in English, most English speakers have never heard of it. It is such a big part of New Year’s Eve here in Germany, but probably nowhere else in the world. If you repeat this phrase and laugh about it with colleagues from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, etc., they will quickly look for someone else to have a conversation with because they will think you are very strange!
- “English for runaways”
Again, although all Germans know this phrase, native English speakers do not. If you tell them you are taking “English for Runaways,” they will have NO IDEA what you are talking about. And again, you’ll be left without a conversation partner.
- “You can say ‘you’ to me.”
If your conversation partner has some knowledge of the German language, he/she may think this is funny. However, English speakers who have little or no knowledge of German will not understand this joke at all, as they don’t have experience differentiating between a formal “you” and an informal “you.” Once again, you’ll be left standing alone.