Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: BROKEN ENGLISH

  1. #1
    jwschang Guest

    BROKEN ENGLISH

    Anyone heard of "Broken English"?

    Some samplings from my humble text (under preparation) on how syntax is mangled by creative "shortening" in my part of the world (Singapore and Malaysia), especially among Chinese speakers!

    Where are you?
    You are where?

    Where do you live?
    You live where?

    Where is the train station?
    The train station is where?

    Where could he be?
    He is where?

    Where are my socks?
    My socks are where?

    Where did you put them?
    You put them where? (The "did" is a nuisance)

    Where did she find my wallet?
    She found my wallet where? (Ditto)

    Where is this computer made?
    This computer is made where?

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,396
    Post Thanks / Like
    I believe "broken English" is a widely used term which describes and generalises the standard of a learner.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,618
    Post Thanks / Like
    Broken English is a common enough term, although not used much in education.

  4. #4
    shane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    519
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: BROKEN ENGLISH

    Quote Originally Posted by jwschang
    Anyone heard of "Broken English"?

    Some samplings from my humble text (under preparation) on how syntax is mangled by creative "shortening" in my part of the world (Singapore and Malaysia), especially among Chinese speakers!

    Where are you?
    You are where?

    Where do you live?
    You live where?

    Where is the train station?
    The train station is where?

    Where could he be?
    He is where?

    Where are my socks?
    My socks are where?

    Where did you put them?
    You put them where? (The "did" is a nuisance)

    Where did she find my wallet?
    She found my wallet where? (Ditto)

    Where is this computer made?
    This computer is made where?
    Those all sound like Chinglish to me!! They all use Chinese sentence patterns, don't they? :)

  5. #5
    Samantha Guest

    Re: BROKEN ENGLISH

    Quote Originally Posted by jwschang
    Anyone heard of "Broken English"?

    Some samplings from my humble text (under preparation) on how syntax is mangled by creative "shortening" in my part of the world (Singapore and Malaysia), especially among Chinese speakers!

    Where are you?
    You are where?

    Where do you live?
    You live where?

    Where is the train station?
    The train station is where?

    Where could he be?
    He is where?

    Where are my socks?
    My socks are where?

    Where did you put them?
    You put them where? (The "did" is a nuisance)

    Where did she find my wallet?
    She found my wallet where? (Ditto)

    Where is this computer made?
    This computer is made where?
    Okay, I thought I was pretty decently educated (I am a native English speaker!!!) but I don't quite get what is wrong with these sentences? Is one of them wrong and the other a more correct translation of the same meaning?

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,570
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: BROKEN ENGLISH

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha
    Quote Originally Posted by jwschang
    Anyone heard of "Broken English"?

    Some samplings from my humble text (under preparation) on how syntax is mangled by creative "shortening" in my part of the world (Singapore and Malaysia), especially among Chinese speakers!

    Where are you?
    You are where?

    Where do you live?
    You live where?

    Where is the train station?
    The train station is where?

    Where could he be?
    He is where?

    Where are my socks?
    My socks are where?

    Where did you put them?
    You put them where? (The "did" is a nuisance)

    Where did she find my wallet?
    She found my wallet where? (Ditto)

    Where is this computer made?
    This computer is made where?
    Okay, I thought I was pretty decently educated (I am a native English speaker!!!) but I don't quite get what is wrong with these sentences? Is one of them wrong and the other a more correct translation of the same meaning?
    Let's look at the first two sentences, which in this country (USA) would have two entirely different meanings.

    • Where are you?
      You are where?


    The first is a question asking about someone's location. The second is not a question but an expression of incredulity. Example:

    • You are where? Thirty-ninth and Grand? That's impossible. Those streets don't even intersect.


    Or:

    • You are where? Pine and 13th street? Geez! You couldn't have possibility have followed the directions I gave you.


    :)

  7. #7
    jwschang Guest

    Re: BROKEN ENGLISH

    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    Those all sound like Chinglish to me!! They all use Chinese sentence patterns, don't they? :)
    Yup. Word order is Chinese. Do you encounter the same in Dalian? I would guess not, because the China Chinese try to be more exact than us here. :wink:

  8. #8
    whl626 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    429
    Post Thanks / Like
    I put it down to ' mother tongue interference ' . Non-English speakers can't help but think in their native pattern and add in English words in the sentence as a way to learn English. Once the habit is formed, it is really hard to make corrections. That's why many educated people also use all those expressions. :)

  9. #9
    shane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    519
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: BROKEN ENGLISH

    Quote Originally Posted by jwschang
    Do you encounter the same in Dalian? I would guess not, because the China Chinese try to be more exact than us here. :wink:
    I encounter many direct translations of words, rather than sentences. Some good ones I've heard are:

    1. Fire chicken (turkey - huo ji in Chinese)
    2. Black customer (hacker - ڿ hei ke in Chinese)

    :D

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: BROKEN ENGLISH

    Ahem, sorry folks. It's perfectly correct English. The process whereby a WH-word is moved to the end of the sentence so as to place more emphasis on the topic. For example,

    "You did what?" means, I know what you did (so don't answer the question (hence the positioning of 'what' to the end)), I just can't believe you did it!.

    :D

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Help
    By zhangjin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 29-Mar-2008, 19:47
  2. any advice on how to improve my english which is in trouble!
    By lucyarliwu in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 28-Nov-2006, 05:58
  3. [feeling] Annoying English?!
    By Wai_Wai in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 13-Nov-2006, 08:59
  4. I would like to have feedback for my broken English !!!
    By HardRock in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2003, 01:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •