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Thread: Common Mistakes in Japanese English

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    Fucking Classy lains's Avatar
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    Default Common Mistakes in Japanese English

    Hey guys I am making a lesson plan at the moment about common mistakes made by Japanese speakers in English...

    Aside from the "students funniest quotes" type stuff, have you got any suggestions of what common mistakes are, why they are made, ways to correct them etc?

    Cheers
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

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    Gold/yellow hair.
    Black eyes.
    Blue light. (on traffic lights).
    Shaving. (they use instead of "shaver" because the gerrund and noun are the same in Japanese)

    More complex ones:

    When describing things I've found my students often omit the object - (e.g "she has big bright blue" and leaving off eyes).

    Also "he" and "she". :smt009

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Three speaking issues I have with my kids:

    "Its likes baseball" instead of "I like baseball"
    "I played with my friends this weekend" and the kids are 18
    "I go to shopping"

    Also saying time. I have heard at the train station that the spoken English of 17:00 is seventeen, but no one says that, especially American people who don't use the 24 hour clock.

    Ways to correct them would be for them to practice in an interview/ dialogue situation
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrissey
    Gold/yellow hair.
    What do you mean by this?
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    Quote Originally Posted by Marrissey
    Gold/yellow hair.
    What do you mean by this?
    They say gold/yellow hair, not "blonde", because it's gold in Japanese.

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    I don't see whats wrong with calling blonde hair golden. There are many kinds of blonde, so that would be an apt description. My students said my hair looks like sunshine :wink:
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    Fucking Classy lains's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - the interview idea is a good one.

    I have 4 seperate lessons (coupled with textbook work) on the same topic so need variations on the theme...

    So far I have the starter lesson which is looking at "engrish" signs, trying to point out what is wrong, and correcting them.
    The second is a more involved quiz on word order and tenses.
    I think for the third Ill do the interview, and the fourth common Japan-specific mistakes, like the things you guys suggested, clocks, colours etc etc
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

    Hunter S. Thompson.

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    Australian Sciby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    "I played with my friends this weekend" and the kids are 18.
    Apparently this is because there's one Japanese word that's for both the children's "play" and the adult's "hang out"... which I can't remember. Anyone?
    For relaxing times when ITIL explodes, make it Japanistan time. (Actually, don't, it's broken forever)

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    A tricky thing is reading times like 12:05... most kids will say "twelve-five" because 12:20 is "twelve-twenty" and 12:37 is "twelve-thirty-seven". It's important to drive home that the "oh" is in there.

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sciby
    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    "I played with my friends this weekend" and the kids are 18.
    Apparently this is because there's one Japanese word that's for both the children's "play" and the adult's "hang out"... which I can't remember. Anyone?
    I do realise this, but the kids don't know this makes them sound like a twat unless you tell them. My JTEs did not know that we don't all play with eachother all the time, especially on the weekends with our "special friends"
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    I don't see whats wrong with calling blonde hair golden. There are many kinds of blonde, so that would be an apt description. My students said my hair looks like sunshine :wink:
    It's ok if you know you're doing it for descriptive effect, but most English speakers would say "blonde", not gold 95% of the time. There are many kinds of blonde, but the point is that the students use "gold" for ANY kind of blonde and don't know the word "blonde".

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Aaah... I see what you mean. My kids knew the word blonde though. :wink:
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    Fucking Classy lains's Avatar
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    In my searching I came across this... The 12 most common mistakes made by Japanese students speaking English
    http://www.longwood.edu/english/esl/1A-12G.htm

    Pretty helpful and gives good, basic explanation
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

    Hunter S. Thompson.

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    I was very enjoy.
    Let`s challenge!
    I was very interesting. It was very interested.
    What do you like sports?
    Do you have darling?
    I play karate.

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    It's not necessarily a mistake, but....I've been trying to ween my students (and JTEs) off of using "Let's" so much. I've never, never, never heard a native speaker of english use Let's a third of the amount that Japanese speakers of english do. "Let's keep clean", "Let's enjoy listening to music", "Let's be nice to our friends"...It just sounds so ridiculously....WEIRD...even if it is technically grammatically correct.

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    I decided "Let's go" is the only one that can really be used a lot. At least, that is what I think, which is worth little.

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    I've been wracking my brain for days trying to think of times I've used "let's" and let's go was the only I could come up with, so it ain't just you.

  18. #18
    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sciby
    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    "I played with my friends this weekend" and the kids are 18.
    Apparently this is because there's one Japanese word that's for both the children's "play" and the adult's "hang out"... which I can't remember. Anyone?
    Asobu
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    I hear "saftey driving" or "safety driver" a lot form a staff member.

    And though someone wrote it up earlier and it's not a "japanese-english" mistake, it drives me up the wall when people say "it" instead of "I" or "you."

  20. #20
    Pandilex
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    Do you have a time Pandilex-sensei?

    Are you okay?

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