English is awkward

@mimm45 (168)
Australia
October 22, 2011 5:58am CST
I speak English but it is not my first language. As non-native English speaker living in an English-speaking country I've realized that sometimes my sentences are a direct translation from my own language. As an example: We were watching a game and I was making comments about the other team. The person sitting next to me asked me why I didn't like the other team and i replied "Because they're the enemies". They all laughed at me. I only meant that they were the opponents but as I was translating from Filipino "dahil kalaban sila" (dahil=because; kalaban=enemy; sila=them) it came out the wrong way. Another thing that pointed out by my husband is saying "close the lights" instead of turning it off. In Filipino we say "patayin mo ang ilaw". But patayin means kill so what should I have said. Anyone have the same experience?
6 responses
• Philippines
22 Oct 11
Hey! Good day... I know this is frustrating because I have experienced this lots of time. For me the best solution to your problem is to stop translating yourself.. I know that is not clear but all you need to do is start thinking in english.. don't translate everything word per word... but translate the thought... that is it.. :)
• Philippines
22 Oct 11
I also experience that especially when i have a conversation that need to speak English. There's anything wrong with your English as long you are understood. But I think we just need to know the proper way of using a word then we will get used to it. Just practice English and everything will be fine.
@puccagirl (7316)
• Israel
22 Oct 11
I think it is a pretty common phenomenon when people are still learning English. I have heard examples like that many times. So it is not something to be embarrassed about, it's completely normal I think.
@sanofer (525)
• India
22 Oct 11
every non native speaker will have that difficulty. But practice makes a man perfect. So if we concentrate and try to understand the language we can speak good english. Dont get sad when others tease you by seeing the way you speak english. Learn from your mistakes and you can speak good english.
• India
22 Oct 11
Yeah when i started doing Mylot i used to type a discussion for more than 10min that also 2 sentences.. But now i improved a lot with the help of mylot friends... Thank you very much friends...
@Mashnn (4503)
22 Oct 11
Being a good English speaker is not a matter of English been your native language or not. It is matter of understanding the right use of grammar. Simply meaning for you to know English you need to take sometimes and study. They are people who are born with English as their native language yet they cannot put a good sentence together or spell some English words.