Archive June 2014

How to pronounce v and f in English

Have you seen the new Rightguard commercial on German TV yet? It is about a product called “5”. I mention it here because the English number five is pronounced incorrectly, namely as [faɪf] instead of [faɪv]. You can hear the correct pronunciation here. This common mistake among German speakers is also often made in the

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self-made vs. home-made

The English expression self-made is quite often incorrectly used as a translation of the German word selbstgemacht. A classic example is I brought self-made cake to work today. (Wrong) Interestingly, the situation is more complicated than I expected. In particular, whether or not self-made is a false friend (and should be replaced with home-made) depends

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Got eggs?

I recently came across a hilarious false friend in the discussion forum of a newspaper website. A German native speaker who seemed to be very keen on using English expressions accidentally translated the colloquial German expression “Eier haben” (Mut haben, to have courage) as “to have eggs” by writing Der Mann hat eggs. The correct

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