Friday, November 5, 2021
HomeChinese SpokenCommon English mistakes made by native Chinese speakers

Common English mistakes made by native Chinese speakers

PG Vlog 140 – Tipping the Service Staff

Advice for Social Interactions and Relationships

PG Vlog 15 – The Dangers of Premature Cynicism

PG Podcast – Episode 24 – Jason Shen on The Asian American Man Study

My book notes on Unlocking the Clubhouse

On English mistakes made by Chinese speakers (and vice versa): Ive always been fascinated by homonyms, and obviously, it is rare for two unrelated languages to share homonyms. Without thinking about it consciously, we will use homonyms from one language into another. For example, growing up, I frequently said open the light because in Chinese, means both open and turn on. I noticed other young Chinese children in America make that exact mistake, too. Another example is when Chinese ppl say Ill carry you there (), because is both to carry and to take. Conversely, English speakers learning Chinese frequently mix up to take as in Ill take you there (), and dont take this ().

PG Podcast – Episode 26 – Pamela Fox on meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation

Notice that the meanings of these sentences are still fairly clear despite the incorrect grammar, which makes them sound strange to native English speakers. The context is enough to disambiguate meaning.

PG Podcast Hour with Robert Ikeda 3 – Edmond Lau cameo, machine learning, and professors coding

PG Podcast Hour with Robert Ikeda 9 – Leveling Up, Incumbents vs. Outsiders, Institutional Alignment

PG Vlog 16 – Talking-to-Doing Ratio

PG Vlog 146 – Unenthusiastic Unboxing Video

PG Vlog 144 – Brief Moments of Clarity

PG Vlog 97 – Youre Not Special. Thats Why You Can Do Something Awesome!

PG Podcast – Episode 32 – Tergel on building mindful relationships with technology

PG Podcast Hour with Robert Ikeda 1 – startup life, investors, and reading between the lines

Finally, comprehensive negative qualities are expressed differently. In English, we say None of these students have books. But in Chinese, we say (All of these students dont have books). Logically, these statements are identical, but for some reason, each language prefers a different implementation.

PG Vlog 140 – Tipping the Service Staff

In Chinese, there arent separate gender pronouns (e.g.,heandshe,hisandher). Thus, when Chinese speakers learn English, they often forget to use the appropriate gender pronouns. They mostly default to the masculine versions, which can lead to awkwardness when they refer to women usingheorhis.

PG Vlog 17 – Recovering from Early Failures

In Chinese, there is no need for articles (a,an,the) in front of nouns, so Chinese speakers often forget to place the appropriate article when speaking or writing English. For instance, they might sayI went to storeorHe likes movie.

To English speakers,he got a job in Microsoftsounds a bit off, buthe got a job at Microsoftseems more natural-sounding. However, in Chinese, there is one word (technically,character) that sometimes meansinand other times meansat, depending on the context.

On remembering and dealing with peoples names

PG Vlog 89 – English as my Fourth Language

hpvread before cold-emailingOffice Hours

Why Trying To Impress People Is Pointless

Yesterday I go to market to buy three duck.

PG Vlog 25 – Be Wary of Early Successes (WLOG!)

PG Vlog 58 – My Thoughts on The Genius Fallacy (Jean Yangs blog post)

In Chinese, there is no such thing asverb conjugation to denote tenses; the context is used to distinguish between past, present, future, and all the other various tenses. For example, there is a single word in Chinese that meansrun. If you want to use the present tense, you simply sayI run. If you want the past tense, you have to say something likeyesterday I run, whereyesterdayprovides the requisite context. And if you want the future tense, you have to say something liketomorrow I run.

The correct use of prepositions (e.g.,in,at,on,to,into) is often difficult for non-native English speakers to master. This part-of-speech is especially problematic for Chinese speakers because there isnt such a strong distinction between different prepositions in the Chinese language.

In Chinese, peoples last (family) names are spoken and written before their first names, the exact reverse of English conventions. Thus, when Chinese speakers mention English names, they sometimes say them backwards (e.g.,Smith Will).

Mary like to eat meat; he definitely not vegetarian.

Academic High Achievers At Age Thirty

PublicationsGoogle ScholarCurriculum Vitae

Superpowers of Highly Successful People

Yet another mistake Ive noticed is with displaced objects: In Chinese, the object is sometimes moved to the front of the sentence when it is an old topic or it is to be de-emphasized. But this is not commonly done in English. For example: ,; ,, which I hear awkwardly stated in English as Your hair, I dont like it; your clothes, I like it.

Knowing a lot about a little versus knowing a little about a lot

PG Vlog 138 – Pure Formative Moments

Last week he get good job at big city.

PG Vlog 84 – Being Politely Vigilant

PG Podcast Hour with Robert Ikeda 10 – Hacking Motivation, Forcing Functions, Big Data Ethics

PG Vlog 145 – Python + R Data Analysis Setup

Enforcing diversity in online media consumption

What I learned from my friends during my Summer 2008 Boston/NYC vacation

Common English mistakes made by native Chinese speakers

In Chinese, there arent separate singular and plural forms for nouns; the context is used to distinguish between singular and plural. For instance, if someone saidone catin Chinese,catis singular, but if someone saidmany cat,catis plural. There is no separate plural formcatsin Chinese. Thats why when Chinese people speak or write English, they tend to forget to make nouns plural, resulting in awkward-sounding phrases likewe have three dog.

PG Vlog 143 – The Output of Academia is People – 2 of 2 – Graduate Education

Keep this website up and running bymaking a small donation.

PG Podcast – Episode 30 – Frank Wang on the vital role of people in technology

Sometimes articles should not be inserted, but Chinese speakers insert them anyways, perhaps because they remember that they should be aware of using articles when speaking or writing English. Thus, we get bloopers likethe God blessed Americaoryou gained the weight last month.

This article presents some common mistakes that native Chinese speakers make when speaking or writing in English. I try to explain the possible causes of these grammatical errors by highlighting differences between Chinese and English grammar.

PG Vlog 142 – The Output of Academia is People – 1 of 2 – Undergrad Education

Verb conjugation is one of the most difficult parts of the English language for native Chinese speakers to master, simply because there are so many tenses, and each can only be properly used in select situations. Chinese speakers know not to always use the (default) present tense of English verbs, but oftentimes their attempts at switching up the tenses lead to incorrect and funny-sounding sentences.

PG Podcast – Episode 35 – Audrey Boguchwal + Nadia Eghbal on sustainable online communities

PG Vlog 139 – Learning in College … Outside the Classroom

In Chinese, there is no such thing as verb conjugation tomatch with the corresponding subject. In English, we sayI like cheese,he likes cheese, andthey like cheese. In Chinese, there arent separate forms forlikeandlikes, so one would simply sayhe like cheese, which sounds funny when translated into English.

PG Vlog 50 – The Importance of Good Mentorship

Geek behaviors present during conversations

He like to go to mall to shop for the clothing.

PG Vlog 12 – Thoughts on Working Hard

Assistant Professor ofCognitive ScienceUC San Diego

What to expect over the next decade and beyond (CS graduation speech)

Here are some sentences that combine multiple mistakes of the types that Ive described in this article.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular

Recent Comments