Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Can you tell me a phrase or sentence that is slightly different from American English that you think is interesting or better?

Asked by JLeslie (60729points) June 27th, 2010

Like my exboyfriend’s family used to ask in Spanish, “Did you wake up well?” Rather than what we ask, which is, “Did you sleep well?”

And also in Spanish, and many languages for that matter, we say, “I have 42 years.” Instead of, “I am 42 years old.” Saying how many years I have sounds more positive to me than how old I am.

Do you have any others either translated from another language, or maybe English spoken in other countries outside of America?

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9 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

To my ear, some French expressions convey a thought much better; such as “je ne sais quoi” or “raison d’etre”.

JLeslie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Can you translate them into English for me?

Your_Majesty's avatar

When Cantonese people invite you to eat with them they will say “Lets eat rice” rather than “Lets eat”. They will say the same thing even if rice isn’t in the menu. It’s just the habit in their history since rice is Cantonese staple food.

JLeslie's avatar

@Doctor_D Like “breaking bread” I guess.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JLeslie The first being “A little extra something that’s hard to describe”, the second is “reason for existance”.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Most have you have read my posts. Some of you may have said to yourself, “This guy writes in a strange language.”

That’s because I write in English. I want you all to know I am always willing to translate anything into American if it should be required.~

Zaku's avatar

In Italian, “I love you” is said “ti voglio bene” or “I wish you well”. I like that. And “I like something” is “mi piace qualcosa” or “something is pleasing to me”.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence LOL. I always cringe when people say, “I speak American,” I figured adding the English on it made it acceptable. I wanted to be sure to include sayings in Engand, Canada, and other English speaking countries that are different than American sayings. The other day someone asked my husband to speak “Mexican.” Now that’s bad. When I started reading your sentence I thought you were going to end with that you are always translating from French. Hahaha. You got me.

jfos's avatar

I think it’s interesting how, in the romance languages (or at least Spanish, Italian, and French), one says, “I call myself ______,” rather than “My name is ______.”

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