Updated: Aug 25, 2021
by Polly Marie Guilarte @English_For_Life_Orlando Have you seen embarrassing errors in English or another language?
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https://www.instagram.com/english_for_life_orlando/ It can be difficult to explain your ideas in a new language if you don't have help and the proper instruction. Cultural colloquial expressions, new grammar, words that sound the same but have different meanings, illogical spelling, and boring or improper vocabulary choices are some of the challenges my clients have conquered. Here are 11 common examples of errors many people make.
Signs, Menus, and Ads that got it wrong What are the errors here? Can you spot them?
There are actually 2 errors here. The possessive adjective "Your" should be "You're" which is the contraction for "you are" which is necessary for the correct passive construction "You're being recorded" (on video security camera). The second error "been" should actually be "BEING" because the video recording is in progress at this moment and probably continually.
Did you see the problems here? There are actually 4 errors here. "Their" (possessive for them) sounds exactly like "there" (location). The writer spelled the wrong word.
Also if you miss the apostrophe in we'll (the contraction for we will), we'll changes to a completely different word- :well"! Well describes how well you do something. "WE'LL help you get THERE" is the correct spelling, *no caps, and **no cap! (1. "No Cap" is slang for no lie. 2. Caps is slang for capital letters.) "There our best selling products." There also sounds like THEY ARE (usually contracted as they're).
"They're our best selling products" is correct."
"Theyre stronger than the rest" is so close to being perfect, but sadly for the writer, he or she *fell short of the mark. The mark they missed was their apostrophe, in "They're stronger than the rest" which is *a must.
(1. *Falling short of the mark" is an expression that means almost earning a perfect mark or score, but not quite because there was a mistake.)
(2. "a must" is something that definitely has to happen to be correct.)
Did you see the problem here? Maybe not... A new company was opening in France, GPT. No problem, right? No, it was a BIG PROBLEM because the acronym G P T when spoken aloud sounds like the French phrase "j'ai pété" or I passed gas! They had to change it!
Always check with a professional who is a native English speaker for meanings that may not be obvious to other cultures!
Comment below for what you think ICUP and USUK sounds like! They're not appropriate acronyms for a company!
But in my language, it's not rude...
In American culture, it's rude to tell another adult to stop talking, or "Be quiet" in a conversation, even if it's becoming tense. In other countries, it's completely normal. In fact, in the USA, telling someone wh0's upset to "calm down" or "Calmate" in Spanish, may cause more problems because it means you are minimizing their opinion and feelings as unimportant or invalid. It's better to say, "Do I understand correctly that you are saying...?" and then paraphrase what they told you. If restated their point correctly, then say, "Ok, I understand what you're saying.. How can we fix this problem?"
That will help everyone calm down!
Also the actual word in Spanish for the pretty color black, negro, in English, NEE-GROW, is an insult if used to talk about a person. So don't say "negro, negra, or negrita" to mean a pretty woman, or the skin tone black, about people, in English. You can say the color "black" in English about objects. "African American" is what we say regarding a black people. Or refer to their name, color of their shirt, or other identifying characteristics instead of color. I hope this has helped you. Please contact me anytime you need help communicating professionally in English and growing your business globally!
Paulina Guilarte Owner of EFL Orlando
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