What error have you made long in English before you finally noticed it?

I’ve been living in America for 35 years now and when I just moved here there were some words I totally abused.

There are two that I used for a very long time.In Holland It is water or deep or shallow. I think that is quite logical. So in English “deep” and “undeep.” I used that word for years, until a friend started to laugh terribly and told me that the right word for shallow is a “shallow”.

The second word was a little different.An American word to describe a weird person is “weirdo” and is pronounced as follows: “Wierdoo” (as in loop). When I read the word “hairdo” in a magazine, I spoke it out with the long o at the end. Yes, not so. The right pronouncement is “hairdoe.”

My English is now a bit better, although my Dutch has become much worse.

In 1967 I worked in Canada for a Dutch branch as part of the practical year of the then named HTS.One of my social activities was to participate with a youth group.

One evening we talked about potato puree, “mashed patatoes” in English.Didn’t hear it quite right, but I thought so. It really did have an appropriate term. So, I would like to show that I knew quite well of English and it became appropriate in the conversation, I like “Yes, I know,”smashed patatoes.

I did not understand why everyone had to laugh, albeit a bit in covered terms.Only after a few weeks it became clear to me. It’s not smashed it’s mashed!

Mashed is vergruist.To smash is to hit pieces. Not so crazy much difference. Could be quite smashed. I have always found it. Until just recently.

Now no more.Smashed, unexpectedly, has a very different meaning than you could derive from “Smash”: to beat it in pieces. Smashed are no longer going to be beaten into pieces, but about Benefield, drunk, Smoor, Hoteldebotel, etc. To be.

I discovered that now just when writing this antoord, using an English-Dutch word book.After 52 years?! Now better understand also why a bit of confused was reacted to my “smashed patatoes”.

What makes English difficult for many, is that words written in the same way do not always have the same pronunciation or, V.V., have different pronunciation but are written in the same way.Many words in English I have made myself by reading a lot without ever having heard the verdict.

E.G. Rough, tough, cough sounding. KOF, Tof, ROF as

AT some point in my life got something to do with agriculture and explained to my English acquaintances that we went “ploffing” the country.

They had never heard of it: Ploffing? Since I knew that they also did not understand the bothering of agriculture, I explained it to them.

AH, you mean ploughing?

I always thought that the English word child meant a real child.When I was watching English movies and heard someone say “that’s kind of you” I always got so confused haha. But now I know that child in the English is child.

Definitely.I always thought this was written as definately, which I found to look nicer too. I also wrote it a few times wrong, and when I got my work improved back I wanted to look it up first in the dictionary because I was so sure that definately was good.

Anchor I spoke out as Ensjur, while it is with something like Enkur.What is quite logical in hindsight, because in Dutch anchor is almost the same. Don’t know why I talked it out so weird.

I also thought for a long time that an acorn was a squirrel.

I often miss with songs (in English).

To give just one example:

In the hit of the duo Everything But the Girl , the singer sings:… and I Miss you, like the deserts miss the Rain ~

For years I thought she said:… and I Miss you, like a desert’s mystery ~

So the last thing is really nowhere. Hahahaha!But according to a response to Youtube, there were many listeners who had been mistaken for years.

I’ve been so often missed with songs.It’s pretty embarrassing, but at the same time also funny.

Everything But The Girl-Missing (Official) Youtube

A word that I used to speak wrong was “genuine”.

Genuine speak to you as Gen-U-win in British English, and Gen-U-wine in American English (but apparently there are discussions over there-some Americans speak it out like the Brits, while others pronounce it as Jen-you-whine).

The “gene” you pronounce as Jen of Jennifer.”Jen-You-win”

I used to speak the G as you pronounce him in the English word “game”.

It was a word I never used and had never heard, so I didn’t know how to pronounce it.

In the past, it was also not natural to find the pronunciation online.

Now one can type in a word and look up its pronunciation online (e.g.Youtube).

I talked it out like Guh-nine.Really stupid. I’m ashamed and I laugh.

Glad I’m speaking correctly now:p.

How to pronounce GENUINE in British English

Definition OF GENUINE (There is a small icon of a speaker you can click on to listen to both statements)

You’ll hear “Jen-you-win” and “Jen-you-whine”.

I have worked in London for a number of years and as a language-sensitive person you suddenly become very clear.I learned that English is much more precise in terms of times. The use of For example I am, I was, I were, I have been, I had leg looks much more closely than in Dutch.

In Dutch it does not matter if you say ‘ I was a front soldier in the Gulf War ‘ or ‘ I have been a front soldier in the Gulf War ‘.In English, you use the first form if it is a closed phase of your life and you are now, for example, teacher history. The second variant is especially if it is still part of your reality. Hey John I have certainly not seen you for a year: ‘ That’s right, I have been fighting in the Gulf War as a shock trooper. ‘

Another thingy that many Dutch people do not know well is the difference between ‘ men ‘ and ‘ man ‘ or ‘ lending ‘ and ‘ landing ‘.Many Dutch speak the two the same as ‘ E ‘, as in the Dutch word ‘ vent ‘. In English There is a clear and important pronunciation difference between the two sounds.

Many Dutch people also ignore the soft ‘ G ‘ that starts a word like ‘ humour ‘.

I spoke good English when I moved to London, but with such details I dropped stitches.

In high school I learned the English word eloquence.I found this a nice word at the time and still find it beautiful. In Dutch, this is an eloquent and a well-spoken means. [1

I have spoken this word for almost two decades as [i’lokw 蓹ns (ilokwuns).It appears to be pronounced later as [藞 蓻l蓹kw蓹ns (ellukwuns). [2 I found out after seeing an episode of Doctor Who.

No one had corrated me, nor my English teacher.Moreover, this expensive word is quite rare, so I don’t hear it so often.

I hope I have answered this question.


[1 eloquent-Wiktionary

[2 eloquence-Wiktionary

Maybe a very trivial mistake, but still.

In The Sound of Music is a song.Favorite Things. The nun Maria played by Julie Andrews sings what her favorite is.
In one of those things she sings: Tea; I drink with Jam and Bread.
I saw this film for the first time sometime in the years 70 and then heard: Tea; I drink with German Bread.
Not so weird because it takes place in Austria just after the Anschluss.

On today I perseverely in that mistake even though I know better.

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