Common non-native english mistranslation


Warm summer greetings to all! We hope that the surging heat did not affect the quality of your cognitive abilities in any way. Although there were no fewer errors this week. As usual, these are verbs and their combinations. But let's start with something simpler.

What a snob you are!

Recommended translation: What a snob you are!
Mistranslation : You such a snob!

This example is very simple. Surprisingly, not only there are errors in it, but these errors are like a blueprint! This proposal is just the case when you need to stick to the Russian version. If it starts with the word " what ", then you need to translate the word " what ". It's very simple - what . Snob is snob , let's not forget about the article a . You need to remember a very simple rule:

In exclamations like “what ...!” after what we put a .

Next, we keep the usual word order of the English sentence - subject and predicate. We only have “ you ” - you , this is the subject. Well, the predicate, the verb, as we have reminded you many times, here are . There is no verb in the Russian version, but in English it must be. In the case when there is no verb in the Russian version, in English it is be . And with you be is transformed into are .

So, putting it all together: What a snob you are!

Only you can make this world feel right

Recommended translation: Only you can make this world seem right.
Mistranslated: Only you can make that world seems right.

The translation appears to be correct at first glance. But only for the first. In this sentence, many seek to translate the word " to " and invariably end up with that . But in this sentence, unlike our first example, you should not translate everything literally. If you used the word make , then it would not be out of place to remember the construction make something/ someone do something. As you can see, here that is not present at all. Should have lowered it.

Another thing is that our user could attribute that to world - that world , that is, “ that world ”. Then that is allowed. Let's assume it is. Then the "Only you can make that world..." part of the sentence is true. But let's get back to our make something/ someone do something construct . do has no ending: instead of do in our translation is seems . So, the ending -s must also be removed.

So we get: Only you can make that world seem right.

It's because I demanded that he apologize.

Recommended translation: This is because i have demanded that he excuse.
Mistranslated: This is because i have demanded him to excuse.

This is an example, so to speak, for advanced users. From the point of view of vocabulary, the choice of words, everything is perfect here - it just pleases the eye. But our user has become a hostage of his own "advancement". And again stumbled on " to" . It is known that phrases like "asked him to", " wanted him" and the like are translated as " asked him to ", " wanted him to ". By this analogy, the translation " demanded him to " turned out. And that's where the streak of luck ended.

Take a look at the dictionary entry for the word "demand" .

Note that in the list of combinations with demand in the dictionary, there is no phrase " demand somebody to do something ". Of all the proposed options, only the selected one suits us.

You need to remember: " demand that somebody DO ", - the verb that replaces do has no ending NEVER.

And then we get this: This is because i have demanded that he excuse.