Off topic: English politeness explained
Thread poster: Heather McCrae

Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:28
Member (2012)
German to English
Sep 5, 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10280244/Translation-table-explaining-the-truth-behind-British-politeness-becomes-internet-hit.html


WHAT THE BRITISH SAY
WHAT THE BRITISH MEAN
WHAT FOREIGNERS UNDERSTAND
I hear what you say
I disagree and do not want to discuss it further
He accepts my point of view
With the greatest respect
You are an idiot
He is listening to me
That's not bad
That's good
That's poor
That is a very brave proposal
You are insane
He thinks I have courage
Quite good
A bit disappointing
Quite good
I would suggest
Do it or be prepared to justify yourself
Think about the idea, but do what you like
Oh, incidentally/ by the way
The primary purpose of our discussion is
That is not very important
I was a bit disappointed that
I am annoyed that
It doesn't really matter
Very interesting
That is clearly nonsense
They are impressed
I'll bear it in mind
I've forgotten it already
They will probably do it
I'm sure it's my fault
It's your fault
Why do they think it was their fault?
You must come for dinner
It's not an invitation, I'm just being polite
I will get an invitation soon
I almost agree
I don't agree at all
He's not far from agreement
I only have a few minor comments
Please rewrite completely
He has found a few typos
Could we consider some other options
I don't like your idea
They have not yet decided


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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:28
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
this is great! Sep 5, 2013

Click on the link rather than trying to make head nor tail of the copy-paste, since the table format didn't survive it!

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:28
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My favourites Sep 5, 2013

"Call in and see us any time" = don't even think of calling in and seeing us, ever.

"You must come over for dinner" = you will never, ever, be invited to dinner at our house.


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:28
Member (2012)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
sorry about the table format Sep 5, 2013

I really mean it

isn't English wonderful?

The food was wonderful, but I am really full now
= tasted disgusting


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:28
Member (2012)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
facebook source Sep 5, 2013

forgot to mention the source, I found this great group on Facebook, called Grammarly. The entries are hilarious.

Their website, Grammarly.com, has some useful tools.

Spread the news


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:28
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Looking at it Sep 5, 2013

PM or other minister: We are looking at the problem.

Means: There is not a snowball in hell's chance that we will ever do anything about this,

Foreign thinks: Oh, good, maybe they'll come up with a solution.


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