Ketita (ketita) wrote in little_details,

Mistakes in English by native German speakers

I have a German character, around 1920, who emigrates to the US.  His English is fairly good, but not amazing.  My question is, what grammatical mistakes are common amongst Germans speaking English?  I'm specifically referring to things like structure and word use, because writing out a heavy German accent in prose would be rather annoying to the readers, I think.

The knowledge I have so far is:
- use of "become" instead of "get", because of the word 'bekommen' which means 'get' in German.
- differing, more fluid sentence structure, which would lead to sentences that don't actually make sense in English 
- a bunch of specific examples, which are, well, only good for specific examples, of usage of words in not-quite-correct contexts (taken from transcripting conversations with Germans)
- a 24-hour clock, which could lead to confusion.

Any other examples of 'rules' by which mistakes could be made would be extremely helpful!  I'd like to get as many opinions as possible, because sometimes coming up with "if I didn't speak the language so well, what mistakes would I make?" is rather difficult.

ETA: Thanks so much!  You guys definitely gave me loads of stuff to work with. <3

Tags: ~languages: german

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