Looking north west from the northern end of the Caledonian Canal in Inverness. Mountain could be Ben Wyvis, not sure
Lost in Translation
Pete Bettess Personal
Travel

Translating British Meanings
The difference between what English people say and mean and what foreign people think they mean|

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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Page last modified August 25, 2015