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Thread: Syntax Errors...

  1. #1
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Syntax Errors...

    A thread for difficult or odd things you've been asked to explain by a TG...

    This morning I got "hun-neee, what does this mean when someone sa-peak 'the grass is always greener on the other side'?"

    ...

    ...

    *stumped*

    ...

    It means we always like or want things we dont have.


    About a week ago I was asked why we say "fall in love"... I told her because it was like when we get too drunk and fall down. Somehow this seemed to make perfect sense to her.


    I also had to explain "she-wok", but we covered that in another thread...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dodger's Avatar
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    Strewth Kev this will run and run!!! the hardest thing with the English language, try explaining in English to an English person why certain words and sayings do not make grammatical sense. I have a hard enough problem just trying to understand the tinglish and then when I do trying to explain its not 'cancen' but 'cancel', then I get what does 'cancen' mean then? in this case nothing honey, well then I'll keep using it, if it does not mean anything else it can mean 'cancel'!!!55555

    Then equally I'm amazed how many what I think of as English sayings are directly translated and used in foreign languages, Markus said in German to me the other day a Swiss saying that he found hard to translate, then when we managed it, it was indeed 'the grass is always greener'!!! Equally sayings which we use that are not in English, 'Kay serra serra', (phonetic spelling for 'what will be will be'), my Slovakian girlfriend said some phrase in Slovakian that was all her jumbly Slovakian words until it got to 'Kay serra serra', so they used the Italian saying as well????
    Custard should be a colour...cos I could then paint over the mess I've just made!!!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Que sera sera is from the song tho ?? Like jumbled Spanish..

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dodger's Avatar
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    And there was I thinking it was a football song!!!5555 (edit - this will not be understood by Arsenal Fans as they never go to Wembley!!!555)
    Last edited by Dodger; 12th June 2013 at 16:25. Reason: missed out the doubleya in was
    Custard should be a colour...cos I could then paint over the mess I've just made!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
    Equally sayings which we use that are not in English, 'Kay serra serra', (phonetic spelling for 'what will be will be'), my Slovakian girlfriend said some phrase in Slovakian that was all her jumbly Slovakian words until it got to 'Kay serra serra', so they used the Italian saying as well????
    Que sera sera is Spanish.

    I could get that one without google (yep, the Spanish classes are paying for themselves).

    But the English language lends itself very well to incorporating the ideas, words, phrases of other languages (and by extension the culture). So on the outside it seems the English vernacular is a hodge podge of French, Spanish, German, Latin, et al. where in reality it meshes together quite well. We tend to have phrases that originate in foreign languages in common use, ergo, que sera sera, ces't la vie, vis a vis, mano a mano and so forth.

    Personally I think this is one of the best things about the English language and what has kept it the most powerful tongue in the world.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    But it's not real Spanish.. It's Spanish words said in English grammar.. Not a Spanish phrase or statement.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sundancekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwx View Post
    But the English language lends itself very well to incorporating the ideas, words, phrases of other languages (and by extension the culture). So on the outside it seems the English vernacular is a hodge podge of French, Spanish, German, Latin, et al. where in reality it meshes together quite well.
    Not to forget all the words of Old Norse origin following the Viking colonization after 800. The Norman invasion (descendants of Vikings as well BTW 555) brought more official terms to the language, whereas the Vikings introduced mostly daily life words like sky, window, law, to take, wrong, leg, knife, die, husband etc. etc.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Today's new one... "Hun-neee... why falangs speak 'raining cats and dogs'... cat and dog dont come from the rain."

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