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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.
Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.
John Updike, September
Dunglish (I always get my sin)
When Dutch people who are not familiar with the English language nevertheless try to speak English, they sometimes speak it in a way they are used to speak in their own language. Sometimes they use a different word order or translate Dutch ideoms literally. If they do this you could hear the most strange sentences. These sentences are quite enough comprehensible for people who understand Dutch, but they sound odd and are often incomprehensible for the English. The Dutch writer Maarten H. Rijkens called this ‘new language’ Dunglish. He collected a lot of bizarre expressions the Dutch use if they try to speak English and wrote them down in a book titled: I always get my sin (meaning: I always get what I want). Here are a few examples of Dunglish (with in brackets what the Dutch person meant to say).
- How do you do and how do you do your wife? (How are you doing and how is your wife?)
- We have to look further than our nose is long (We shouldn’t stop searching)
- May I thank your cock for the lovely dinner? (Give my compliments to the cook)
- You are not good snick (You are out of your mind)
- Make that the cat wise (I don’t believe you at all)
- We go in sea with you (We will do business with you)
- You are on glad ice (You are taking a big risk)
- I know from the hood and the rand (I am well informed)
- Now breaks my wooden shoe (This is the ultimate!)
- I'm not crazy Henkie (Don’t take me for a fool)
- Bad luck birds (people who have bad luck)
- He is over the horse lifted (He is spoiled and conceited)
- I have you in the holes (I’ll keep an eye on you)
- There comes the monkey out of the sleeve (Finally we hear the real story)
More on Dunglish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunglish
Do the native speakers of your language also make this kind of strange mistakes when they try to speak English? If you have some examples, please share them with us here.