Presentation on theme: "Paul Mundy www.mamud.com Ethionglish Recognizing and avoiding typical Ethiopian errors in English."— Presentation transcript:
Paul Mundy Ethionglish Recognizing and avoiding typical Ethiopian errors in English
First-language interference Gerglish English I always go shopping on Saturdays Saturdays shopping. always I go German Samstagsgeheichimmereinkaufen
Word order Amharic: Subject – object – verb English: Subject – verb – object I student am = I am a student That student who is? = Who is that student?
Alphabet Amharic uses a different alphabet from English A aB bC c D dE eF f A aB bC c D dE eF f Amharic has no capital letters Amharic speakers often forget to use capitals
Alphabet No standard system for transliteration into Roman script Wereda / woreda Addis Ababa (English) Addis Abeba (German)
Wrong use of capital letters The Amhara Rural development Project. The Amhara Rural Development Project. She lives in mekonnen woreda. She lives in Mekonnen woreda. This case study looks at the Cross-border Livestock Trade. This case study looks at the cross-border livestock trade.
English uses capitals for… The first letter in sentence: the Traffic is Terrible today. The traffic is terrible today. The first letter in names: Addis ababa Addis Ababa Paul mundy Paul Mundy
English uses capitals for… Sometimes for all the important words in a title Twenty stone Terraces and a Little green Book “Up style” Twenty Stone Terraces and a Little Green Book “Down style” Twenty stone terraces and a little green book Most (but not all) abbreviations: Hiv, Ccrda, Etc. HIV, CCRDA, etc.
Plurals Somali pastoralist live in almost all countries in the Horn of Africa. Somali pastoralists live in almost all the countries in the Horn of Africa. The womens look after the sheeps; the mans takes care of cattles. The women look after the sheep; the men take care of the cattle. The project staffs used the equipments. The project staff use the equipment.
English has some irregular plurals Irregular plurals Man, men Woman, women Child, children Wife, wives Leaf, leaves Words without plurals Equipment Staff Cattle Sheep
Apostrophe + s Use ’s to show possession The organization’s vehicle = the vehicle of the organization Use ’s as a contraction He’s = He is Don’t use ’s as a plural Video’s, apple’s
Plural possessives The organization’s vehicles = vehicles belonging to one organization The organizations’ vehicles = vehicles belonging to several organizations But… Men’s attitudes = attitudes of several men
Subject – verb agreement One of the most important aspects are the empowerment of women. One of the most important aspects is the empowerment of women. Check what the subject is One Make sure the verb agrees with the subject One … is
Verb tenses When did he went there? When did he go there? Where are you go? Where are you going?
Verb tenses English forms verb tenses using “helping” (modal) verbs and by changing the form of the verb. I am going. I have gone. I went. He would go. When did she go?
Mixing verb tenses Especially present and future We are building ten houses = we have already started building We will build ten houses = we have not yet started building
Articles No a or an in Amharic Amharic speakers often use the instead of a, or leave it out These facts led to introduction of new camel husbandry system, which reduced cost of production. These facts led to the introduction of a new camel husbandry system, which reduced the cost of production.
Irregular spelling in English Amharic spelling is reasonably regular English spelling is not regular It can be hard to tell how to spell English Through is pronounced “throo” Thorough = “thuru” Money = “muni” Women = “wimin”
Sound the same, but different meaning English words with similar sounds may have different spellings To, two, too Boarder, border Way, weigh Tons, tonnes, tuns There, their, they’re Its, it’s
Spelling The women have a long way to rip the deserved benefits of dairying. The women still have a long way to go before they can reap the benefits of dairying.
Spelling Somali pastoralist preferred to keep camels far from urban areas due to cultural beliefs that made them belief camels will get ill and die if urban poor saw (look at) it. Somali pastoralists preferred to keep their camels a long way from urban areas because they believed the camels would get ill and die if poor city people saw them.
Similar, but not the same Talking, taking, tacking, tackling Shoats, shots Lose, loose Impassable, impossible Many, money Tonnes, tones Rip, reap, ripe Weeding, wedding Fife, five Belief, believe
Microsoft says it’s right… but is it really right? He was talking fife shots to the marked. He was taking five shoats (= sheep and goats) to the market. Arab infester’s have set-up modem life stock healthy facilitates. Arab investors have set up modern livestock health facilities.
Microsoft says it’s right… but is it really right? The boarder grade razed his riffle. The border guard raised his rifle. A condone is a fairy use full weigh to a void aids. A condom is a very useful way to avoid AIDS.
A road sign in Wales English No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only Welsh I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated. Don’t rely on the computer!
Check your spelling Use a spellchecker Then check the result!
Choice of words When he submit his wife to hospital ‟ s emergency room he was asked a lot of money for the service. When the hospital admitted his wife to the emergency room, he had to pay a lot of money.
Choice of words Convicted by changes he observed on livelihood of early adaptors, he brought two milking camels. Convinced by the changes he had seen in the livelihood of early adopters, he bought two milking camels. He saw that people who had started producing camel milk were making a lot of money, so he bought two milking animals.
Class and room Do you have a class available for the night? Do you have a room available for the night?
OK = I have understood Or = Yes, I agree = Yes, I will do it
Unless and otherwise Unless and otherwise the security situation improves, we will have to close the project. If the security situation does not improve, we will have to close the project.
Ethiopianisms Ethiopian words Woreda Kebele Weyndega Birkad Idir Equb Words that are not common in English Quintal Use tonnes, tons or kilograms Khat (or chat or qat?) Explain what it is “a mildly intoxicating herb that many Ethiopians chew” Shoats Sheep and goats
Is leisure a bad thing? Women work on average a 17-hour day. We provided wells close to the village so that women could save time fetching water and spend time on other jobs. Women work on average 17 hours a day. We built wells close to the village so they could save time fetching water. That gives them more free time.
Is leisure a bad thing? It is important to reduce the number of holidays which the peasants have, so they can work more. Ethiopia has a large number of holidays, where people are not expected to work. That cuts their productivity.
Is leisure a bad thing? Marriage is a harmful practice, and peasants should be discouraged from attending weddings, as they are a waste of their time and income. Movies are a harmful practice, and young people should be discouraged from going to the cinema, as they are a waste of their time and income. Farmers feel obliged to go to weddings, and they are one of the few forms of entertainment in rural areas. But such social obligations take up a lot of time and cost money.
Checking your document Check your text after you have finished it. Use a spellchecker – then check the result! Ask a colleague to check it. If the audience is important Ask a native speaker to check it What is an important audience? A large number of people A small number of important people
More problems in writing and speaking Clutter, jargon, excessive wordiness, long sentences Flat tone (in speaking and writing) Mumbling (speaking) “Beating about the bush”(writing) Lack of maps, graphs, etc. Unwillingness to admit and review when things don’t go according to plan Focus on methodology and less interest in results