Amusing guide on how to avoid small but significant errors
I recently bought this book titled ”Top 35 Mistakes Danes Make in English” – a fun guide to small but significant errors.” According to a recent survey, Danes generally speak good English, but this book addresses some of the mistakes that I really think many Danes/non-native speakers of English are not aware of. Not paying attention to these subtle nuances of meaning, and perhaps insulting someone unintentionally, can have damaging consequences for a business. Here are a couple of examples:
Not knowing “obviously” is obnoxious: The Danish “klart” is a friendly word suggesting that the speaker and listener agree. But obviously, a common English translation, is a word with negative undertones that suggest the listener is a moron who needs simple things explained. If the point really is obvious, just drop the word entirely, or use the gentler “of course”, or “as you may know”.
Another unintentionally harsh statement Danes sometimes make in English is “I’m not interested”. While you can use the direct Danish translation to pleasantly suggest that you would rather see or do something else, the English phrase is a sharp rejection, the sort of thing you’d say to a telephone salesman who interrupts your dinner. If someone is trying to convince you to attend a classical violin concert when you would prefer a monster movie, you can respond more kindly with “I’m not really into that,” or “That’s not my style”.
If you realise that your English may not be as good as you would like, you should buy this amusing guide on how to avoid small but significant errors. Bonus: It can easily be read during a short business trip!