How many words can you come up with?

@mamajena (122)
United States
June 12, 2007 1:30pm CST
I am hoping to see what you all are made of literally speaking. In an ongoing discussion here on my lot the topic of the difficulties of making oneself understood and understanding English as a second language speakers have has piqued my interested. I told a story of a german diner I served years ago who had no concept of the word gravy. Turns out the closest translation was sauce in German. So my question to you who are english as a second language speakers is what other words have you had trouble understanding because there is no translation to english from your language and then I would like all the English speakers to help them come up with something that helps them understand the term they have sent us.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@cerium (691)
13 Jun 07
I often face this problem, but I manage to get around it by trying to explain myself more rather than using a single word.
@mamajena (122)
• United States
13 Jun 07
The correct way to spell that word is learned and thanks for the correction of my mistake in the earlier post Thanks for your response and please pass this discussion on to your esl friends and ask them to come up with a few words that give them trouble.
@cerium (691)
13 Jun 07
Both learnt and learned are correct. Learnt is more common in British English, but that doesn't make it wrong, does it?
@mamajena (122)
• United States
13 Jun 07
No I did not know that was correct in British English you learn something new everyday. That was the purpose of this discussion so good for you. Thanks for teaching us something about a foreign language. Keep on typing and we'll keep listening. Thanks for your post
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
12 Jun 07
english has got to be one of the hardest languages in the world...my in laws are german and even after 50 years of being in canada, she still doesnt get it!! but languages are like that...sometimes there are no literal translations...i have asked hubby to translate stuff from german to english and sometimes it just cant be done
@mamajena (122)
• United States
12 Jun 07
Thanks for your comments and yes I agree however I think french and spanish are difficult because the sentence structure itself is so different. In English I am going to the store In French I store go English is subject verb object French and Spanish are subject object verb That has to make understanding english a lot more difficult because you have to change not only the words but the sentence structure as well.
@cerium (691)
13 Jun 07
English is not that hard. I've learnt English in school as a second language, and French as a third language. I can say that English is by far easier than French. Just many forms of French verbs with many irregularities which is not the case with English. As for 'I store go', that's definitely not about French. In French it is the same sentence structure as English. In french, you say, 'Je vais au magasin' which is the same as in English. I don't know about Spanish.
@anastazia (154)
• Canada
12 Jun 07
I think that is a wonderful idea count me in. I'd luv to help out. bbsmiles
• Canada
12 Jun 07
English is my native tounge btw
@mamajena (122)
• United States
12 Jun 07
Thanks for your response tell your friends and we maybe we can help some of those who are not native english speakers understand us a little better and may be we will learn a thing or two from them as well