I think it’s a well-known fact that English is a pretty influential language in the world, and a lot of people want to speak it. I’m not saying that English is the most amazing language ever, but there is no denying that in today’s world, it’s an important one to learn, and its universality appeals to a lot of people for a variety of reasons. It also comes up a lot in pop culture in a lot of non-English speaking countries, and in every foreign country I have ever been in, there has been a constant stream of English music, stores with English names, products with English labels, and usually best of all, T-shirts with heinous English slogans slapped on them. I think we do this a bit in America with French because we think it looks/sounds romantic and exotic, and I am assuming its the same line of thinking that leads people to put “COOL BABY ACADEMY” or “BONE ME” on a child’s sweatshirt besides the picture of a dinosaur skeleton, but I can’t be sure.
I think most of the time we associate crazy English errors with a generic Asian country (see the culturally insensitive but incredibly funny website www.engrish.com for some prime examples.), but really, linguistically incorrect hilarity can ensue in any country without inglés as its mother-tongue. Today I had a particularly cute day of funny English errors, and I’ve decided to start writing them down. Now, I don’t want to seem like a jerk who is laughing at the errors that the people around me make, and I have no interest in making fun of people or anything like that. More than anything, I think it’s an interesting reflection of our pronunciation, of what people subconsciously think of English and Americans, and other things like that. God knows I make enough ridiculous errors every day to keep my host family AND Spanish teacher laughing (one example from last week was when I looked out the window and said that there were a lot of clouds and it looked like it was going to start CRYING instead of raining.), so I am not about to point any fingers. So don’t be offended if you are one of the people who said one of these things! I just find it interesting. Here are some examples from today:
Firstable: He meant to say :”first of all” but with our fast and loose pronunciation, it sounds EXACTLY like firstable. I think this should probably be made into a real word.
I have to go party: Today one of my German friends asked me why little children are taught to say this when they have to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about, then I realized she had always thought they were saying “party” when they were really saying “potty.” In the context of heading off to the toilet, this one is particularly awesome.
Party training: Pretty much in line with the above explanation. I guess if you’re training to be party-ready you should know how to not poop your pants, so on some level this could work, but I don’t see it going mainstream anytime soon.