I am going to …from now. ?????????日本語バージョンはこちらをクリック!
I stumbled upon this statement in my cyber-tour and couldn’t shake it off my thoughts and started tapping on my keyboard.
Is this right? Acceptable? Erroneous?
Japanese students (and maybe other ESL students) are not without translating. They subject their brain to a grueling task of translating every single detail of their statement. (If only brains could complain).
The statement above must be a direct translation from Japanese to English. Words were perhaps literally translated that the English sense got lost in the process.
There is nothing wrong about translating. But while doing so, one must remember that together with the words, the sense must get translated as well. After all, the sense is the substance of the words.
It is not right to say, “I am going to …from now”, as in “ I am going to work from now.” Instead, one should say, “I am about to leave for …” like “ I am about to leave for work, dear”.
One might argue that such a mistake is tolerable. Well, I’d say I wouldn’t settle for something less than perfect when perfection is achievable. A mistake is a mistake. When one opens his mouth to speak, it takes only seconds to deliver his message. When an incorrect message is sent out there, there is no taking it back. There is no second chance. If one finds it hard to understand the other person, the listener might start to avoid him. This is now called ‘communication failure’. Who would want to talk to somebody who only confuses his listeners?
At ACERS, we make sure that the things the students hear from the teachers are right and politically correct. We aspire for excellence! We practice what we preach!
The list of common mistakesHere is a list of common mistakes Japanese students who have been learning English make.
Example 1Wrong: I couldn’t catch up with the train.
Correct: I missed the train.
Unless you are Usain Bolt whose speed is at 23.35 mph and the train you are trying to catch up with runs at 18mph.
Example 2Wrong: I cooked my father. He liked it very much.
Correct: I cooked for my father. He liked it very much.
I wonder how the father was able to taste his child’s cooking when he was the main ingredient.
Example 3Wrong: The hotel doesn’t have any empty rooms.
Correct: The hotel doesn’t have any available rooms.
Every room in the hotel from the cheapest to the most luxurious is equipped with amenities for their guests.
Example 4Wrong: I want to change to the table beside the window.
Correct: I want to move to the table beside the window.
Unless you are a witch or Cinderella with a fairy godmother, to turn yourself into a table is impossible.
Example 5Wrong: I eat my lunch box every day.
Correct: I bring my lunch box every day. / I eat boxed lunch every day.
If your diet constitutes of boxes, I have no problem with that.
Example 6Wrong: The man doesn’t have small money. Can you tear my money? My money is 500.
Correct: The man doesn’t have any change for 500. Can you break it?
No store will accept a torn bill.
Example 7Politically incorrect: (in Public) Where is the toilet?
Politically correct: (in Public) Where is the restroom?/ where is the comfort room?
Modesty in manners and most especially in language is highly regarded. Leave your toilet at home.
Example 8Age-inappropriate: I want to pee / poo.
Age-appropriate: Nature’s call. / I need to use the toilet.
Unless you are Paris Hilton who seems readily forgiven for every faux pa, or a little child for that matter.
The list is long. Every student makes unique mistakes. And whether you believe it or not, mistakes get in the way of forming a friendship with the native speakers of the English language.