More Europea -a mishmash of lingos

“Well I really need to get my handy sorted, and get a flat rate.”

You might reckon that I am waffling or your might not even be fazed by this.

Maybe the former because you are not familiar with denglisch But when you have been in another country for some while you end up getting what we coin in the biz “language interference”. And this only really creeps into your lingo when you get to a certain level in a language, or? This tag question is common amongst English ex-pats and in order to avoid it I deliberately started using the more northern, innit. Oder (or) and innit have the same multi use purpose and maybe slightly goes towards explaining the tendency for ex-pats to slip into this usage. It is especially common amongst language teachers cause we tend to put this kind of concept under microscopic scrutiny.

The running joke amongst us goes such that “It is better to get a gift in English than German”.

This false friend (falscher Freund) is one of oddles that cause problems. 
The handy thing is very common as it is such a practical word to use for the gadget. Unlike when a student of mine described his job as a “depaneler” which to anyone would seem to be a guy who takes off panels from vehicles in a garage. So ya may be shocked and flabbergasted to hear he worked for a telecommunications company dividing sheets of material into panels. Jobs are a mind-field for misunderstandings and just to know what the job of a “Network Architecture & Design Global Transport Planning Global Network Planning” or Fachabteilungsleiter “Kernenergieanlagentechikeraufsichtsführender Werkmeister” is takes a degree in linguistics us average laypeople just don´t have. The work world seems to have both natives and ex-pats using a mish mash of hashed up nonsense. Maybe we should “outgesourct” our job descriptions.




A native Brit, Stewart is from the East Midlands. He has worked all over England and has been in Germany since 2002. Through working with the youth and the disabled he has been able to fine tune his communication skills. A Cambridge qualified (CELTA/LCCI CerTEB) instructor of English as a Foreign Language, he also has experience as a copy editor/ proof reader specializing in Higher Education and Business English. He assists established companies & local English trainers (LELTA) in optimizing their platforms, markets & copy (texts). With a Bachelors degree in English & Art, he brings diverse skills within a broad palette to his academic courses, an English speakers community (So Social Club) & an art project (Lebenskunstler). Not only focusing on creative expression but exemplary use of language.


  • Anne

    The “or” tag drives me absolutely nuts. I generally have a pretty good sense of humor, but one time I was spending a whole week with a group, and these two guys finished every sentence in “or?” I took the two aside and tell them they sounded just like seals. (Go ahead, say each “or” with a rising intonation – or! or! or!! – maybe flap your arms if you don’t quite make the connection) Anywho, that saved face, more or less, particularly since who am I to dictate what gets learned and what they want to keep in their Interlingua, but I tell you, “flapping wings” for them that one time really killed “or!”

  • seomoz

    Hi, colleague! I love your blog, it’s so interesting! I think it’s pretty popular, isn’t it?

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