Friend of the Ood. (bork) wrote in little_details,
Friend of the Ood.

Native German speakers trying to speak English....

What problems do they run into?

Scenario: Character X immigrated to a big city in the US from Germany as late teen/early adult, but has now been in the US for a few years. They never got English instruction in Germany, and they moved to a close-knit immigrant neighbourhood in the US, where only German is spoken for day-to-day communication. They spend about half their time in this immigrant community, and the other half in the rest of the city. Their dialogue in this story is going to be in English so it's going to be fractured at best, and I'd like it to sound genuine.

When this person starts learning English, and starts speaking it, what type of speaking errors are they going to make? Can you point me to examples/list some here? I know about German-accented English (and pronounciation issues), but not a whole lot about grammatical/word usage/word order issues, especially in speaking vs. writing. I'm particularly interested in word order issues.

One example: I know some German speakers will say 'I want to become a car' for 'I want to get a car', as the German word for 'get' is 'bekommen'. I'd like others. (BTW, if any resources are in German, that's OK; I can read it a little bit.)

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