What is a funny example of bad English in a country where English is not the mother tongue?

I live in Amstelveen a.k.a. New Mumbai and I have a Dutch neighbor who is convinced for an inexplicable reason, that I come from India.Even though I have told him several times that I am not from there and just speak Dutch anyway. It seems like my words don’t come in.

So there was an Indian family who left and had left some toys in the entrance hall.Something they apparently found sin to throw away but what their child no longer needed.

So the neighbor has a note stuck in the elevator: “This is not the meaning that you leave your plastic garbage in the entrance.Firstly, this is not a pretty face, and secondly you are turning the building into a third world dump. Put your plastic garbage in the plastic garbage container or take your plastic garbage home, where it belongs “.

Other times I bought some stuff at the IKEA and I was getting them one by one out of the car and then bringing them in.The neighbor who had seen me from the balcony hurried down.

“Are those stuffs yours?”

“What are you saying?”

“Those furnitures, are they yours?”

“Yes, they are mine, Sir”.

“This is not the meaning that you leave them there, you are expected to throw them away in the garbage or call the garbage car”.

“I just bought them.I bring them in right.

“Some people make a mess all the time”.

“Thanks for keeping them in the holes, Sir”.

Oh Yeah, I had a picture of a gigantic advertising column in Cairo somewhere with: EGYPT AIR GROUB “on it.That “P” is replaced by “B” in Egypt is now a classic. I have somewhere the whole collection of pictures of “banana zblit” “Bizza & Basta”, “Bublick transbort” etc.

But it does not contain “P” and “B” and is therefore unique:

I used to have a German dentist.

Spoke great English incidentally… Virtually accenteless. But his English was not that best.

I had a Romanian knowledge on visit that got a huge burden of toothache.Root point inflammation. So went to the dentist and as always he explained just step by step what he was going to do.

Then he went to work and told my knowledge.

‘ First you get a prick in the mouth ‘.

He was astonished that my knowledge, his assistant and I could no longer stop laughing.

If we talk about Dutch, I would like to mention one of the most false friends I know: Beamer.

Very regularly I hear Dutch in a business setting ask “where is the remote for the Beamer”, “Can you turn on the Beamer”, “I cannot connect to the beamer”.

Beamer is an English word: It’s SNAKE for BMW (Oy Mate, that’s a nice beamer!) and I just found out it’s a cricket term. But it doesn’t mean such a thing that hangs on the ceiling and allows you to projectthings on a screen… That is in English, namely a projector.

Apparently this is such a common mistake, that Wiktionary even has an explanation for it:

The term is sometimes used in English by non-native speakers because German and Dutch use the word Beamer for that purpose and it appears English (it is a pseudo-anglicism).

A good example is the American films that are screened in Asia.The title is often unrecognizable dismaimed.

As for example those Hard:

Or information boards in Asia:


Those people apparently have no idea.. 😀

At the Belgian airline company Sabena there was at a certain time an action for the Business Class travellers.
In the business lounge They were treated free of charge to a “surprise bread”; An eroded bread filled with delicious sandwiches:

Only, at Sabena, the language was mainly French and this is called “pain Surprise“.

So for the Dutch and English speaking Business travellers there were also invitations to get acquainted with a “pain surprise” in the Business Lounge.
For most English speakers, a “pain surprise” was not exactly a tempting proposition.

A few more examples from the Netherlands:

  • Caravan : Dutch people commit to pronounce this word as “rubbed”.

Although it actually comes via French: Une caravane is a horse-drawn travel car (such as gypsy cars). But originally it comes from the Persisch, where it means a (trade) traveler group, as in a camel-caravan.We know this word caravan also in that meaning in Dutch.
Some Dutchmen profess at high and at low that it comes of English, as contraction of “car” (passenger car) and “of” (pickup).

  • And also a “bad French” figurine: Juderans or orange juice: Normally this means orange juice (or orange juice in Flanders).
  • But I have heard the Dutch already order Apple-Juderans , so some Dutch think that Juderans is a synonym of fruit juice, I think. The shop ‘ Athletes foot ‘ in Dutch shopping streets always makes me laugh quietly.It means ‘ athlete’s foot ‘ or ‘ athlete’s eczema ‘ in English.

    In Scheveningen Many English speakers avoid the ‘ Bad Hotel ‘.

    I took this picture at the airport of Guadalajara.
    I think I was one of the only ones who noticed it.The level of English in M茅xico is lower than expected.

    I work in a chemical company.

    We are multipurpose, which allows us to regularly adjust our setup. We have fixed lines from one reactor to another, but also flexibels. The name says it yourself: just a reinforced flexible ‘ snake ‘ to go from one reactor to another. Since we do not need it for every setup, they are cleaned and stored in the interim. One of our Japanese customers asked how we stocged that. After we had explained neatly that we were hanging on the wall on a ladder and always at both ends to avoid contamination, we received a positive message from our customer.

    We are glad you use flexible horses on the whale.

    Our flexible horses on the whale are indeed great, fine that our customer did.

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