Four German-English habits that may confuse you. Of course you don’t mean you can English. You know you speak English, naturally. And yes, the title question is contrived, but it still comes close to what some Germans will readily say in English – or what they think is English. This five-part series will help you decode Denglisch, that strange variation of English as spoken by many Germans. Your chances of encountering Denglisch are rising day by day. Major German companies have had activities outside Germany for decades, but now, more and more small-to-medium firms (Germany’s famous Mittelstand) are moving overseas and opening factories across the world. So who knows, you might soon become an employee of a supplier of a German company. Better bone up on the language, then.

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English and German are closely related, which is why there are a lot of words that look and sound alike in both languages and mean the same thing: “singen“ and “to sing“, “gut“ and “good“, “Haus“ and “house“. Sometimes, however, appearances can be deceptive. Here are some “false friends”, words that look similar in both languages, but mean (very) different things.

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