Why I don't understand American English

Misunderstandings - English and American are so different

... experience the English training - with which YOU speak English confidently at work.

Did you learn British English in school ...

are now working in an American company in Germany, do you have American colleagues, customers or partners?Eliminate embarrassing, uncomfortable and sometimes expensive mix-ups. Practice the differences between British and American English. Most people dream of reading these examples through once in order to be linguistically armed.

We minimize misunderstandings by use the correct tense.The training program also includes avoiding unsuccessful passive sentences. Or to spontaneously retrieve appropriate words for the conversation. Knowledge and learning help
something, but for spontaneous speaking, training is the key to success.

Reading and learning English is ineffective.

We only have 10% learning power. Many know this from their school days. You improve yourself by reading example sentences out loud, speaking out loud freely. You can achieve a 50-60% effect by seeing and hearing texts and images, and even better videos (see table).

You will benefit from 70-90% if you communicate in English. Of course not in writing (10% !!!) by you speak English with other people. But not online via Skype or in any other way, but from human to human.
This is not based on the view of a teacher who missed the latest updates or the backwoods' hostility to technology, but the natural and for many understandable fact that we behave differently towards a device (device, PC, tablet, smartphone, robot, avatar) than when we speak face to face with one or more people - in English.
In relation to a device, we don't mind making mistakes in a relaxed manner. Yes to a person. Especially if the interview is about a HR manager, department head or company management. The same applies to English-speaking interlocutors such as customers, outsourcing partners or business partners.
Every linguistic glitch is unpleasant and a lot more of it is not noticed, suppressed and the expensive consequences are blurred than employees and companies even suspect or want to admit. From the warehouse to the offices to management.
You can see this from the following list of opportunities for misunderstanding, which is not even complete. Wrong choice of words not only means unpleasant embarrassment, but also unnecessary extra work, effort, time, costs.

Nothing differentiates British and American as much as their common language

once said a famous native speaker. The following small selection shows some examples. While on vacation, it doesn't matter whether you're spreading embarrassing misunderstandings by saying a British word in the US or vice versa. It just has a completely different meaning in the other country. In professional communication, however, one should absolutely avoid such misunderstandings.

Some seemingly harmless words contain explosives. If your interlocutor laughs about it and realizes the misunderstanding, that's still OK. Completely different if up Behave misunderstandings like a smoldering fire, and it takes some time before you get called to management.

There are embarrassing misunderstandings, which provide lasting amusement for colleagues until the next company change or until they retire and even withstand generation changes with ease: "We once had a colleague back then ..."It's just not fun, over and over again to be quoted as a "running gag" with an embarrassing mix-up.

Professionally qualified professionals

also want to appear qualified if they speak English and don't seem insecure and unprofessional.

Some professionals are not embarrassed about anything.

But for others only because because they don't even notice their own mistakes.

How many working people ask for the signature “on the backside, please”. Maybe they would leave it if they knew that it said: "Please sign on the bottom!”. There are hundreds of these examples.
In the next e-mail, this mistake will - perhaps - no longer be made. You have time to write your email. Speaking happens intuitively and here it is regular speaking training that protects against such pitfalls.
Because only, what you train often can be called up intuitively and correctly. Therefore, you should at least say every sentence you read aloud and repeat it aloud again without looking at the template.
It is not important to study and speak for a long time. It is much more important to do this regularly for a few minutes in order to build up training and know-how. In order to be able to speak English well and confidently, naturally and exclusively speaking freely and spontaneously helps. Without any aids or templates such as PC, book or the like.
It's like in life: At the birthday party you can speak spontaneously without aids. As a child, you also learned your mother tongue without a book. Practice speaking English wherever you can.
If you have any questions, just give me a call. I am happy to give you free tips on how you can effectively train to speak English, with or without our training (Harald Schneider, telephone extension: 0 67 21 - 99 47 41).

Tip: communication tuning

The fewer English words you understand, the more important it is to have a good strategy. Employees who do not understand their interlocutor because he only speaks English or an English dialect that is difficult to understand simulate understanding. You also nod your head in confirmation. The interlocutor feels encouraged. Instead of choosing his words in such a way that they are simpler and easy to understand during the course of the conversation, he continues to dig into the dialect bag of tricks.
Most people do not dare to interrupt the other. But this is important. Do not be general, such as "I don´t understand ...!", But become specific.
Name the exact word that you do not understand and specifically ask about it. Example: The lady on the phone says: "He is responsible for the maintenance!" Suppose you don't know the word maintenance. Ask specifically: "Please explain maintenance".
Your conversation partner will now choose other words that are easier for you (in this example: He must look / check the system / machine). Best of all, the more you ask, the better she can adapt to your linguistic abilities and express herself more simply and clearly. The learning interlocutor. Result: it is easier for you. But: You have to trust yourself: to interrupt!

"Experience" English instead of stubbornly cramming! Within the small group, our trainer Gary Lux promoted communication wonderfully, corrected it unobtrusively and "on the side" gave us valuable information about the country and its people. In addition, tips on how to improve your English further! My expectations were met and I can certainly imagine another training session!
More confirmed participant opinions ...

MARION MÜLLER, customer opinion / Google review: 5 stars

There are misunderstandings in one's own mother tongue ...

more than enough. Just think about quick dialogues with your partner or your own children. All the more misunderstandings arise in the foreign language English. Here we are linguistically on thin ice, as nervousness and insecurity intensify the problem.
When we speak English, we often lack appropriate vocabulary.

We have to empathize with the person we are talking to even more intensely than at home. Gender, type, mentality. Are there any prejudices? With him? With me? In order to replace the English words unknown to us, the linguistically untrained needs imagination and flexible thinking.
After all, supposed to the unknown English words are replaced as accurately as possible. By paraphrasing. Paragraphs that shouldn't last for days, but the Bring the content to the point. We don't want to annoy, annoy, or narcotize anyone with verbose answers. We can train that too.
Not sure which tenses to use? Spontaneously chosen the wrong one? Misunderstandings are inevitable due to ignorance, nervousness or superficiality.
"I always understand - roughly - what is meant!"We hear very often from people who speak English at work. This attitude is a gentle pillow. And dangerous when it comes to clear communication. All-clear when it comes to buying a currywurst in San Francisco.
However, ambiguous dialogues are expensive and time-consuming at work. When it comes to money, time, conditions, organization, logistics and business connections. In business there should be no "in approximately"give, but precise, applicable. With product quality, services, prices, delivery times, billing in most companies there is little scope for"in approximately"- right?
Business processes and dialogues that are repeatedly copied into e-mails or standard sentences on the phone are harmless. "Like last time, everything is fine, thanks, bye!". Everything in English. That can be done more extensively, of course, but basically everything is just repeated and copied.
But it gets tricky and difficult when complex, difficult relationships are to be presented, explained or understood in English. When other people radio in dialogues or when highly complex communication processes are even the rule. Now it's about every content-related and thus linguistic detail.The language layman should quickly become an English professional by now at the latest.

Misunderstanding: One word - two meanings: Free

has several meanings. A very common one is the German word: frei, in the sense of being free.

"I see!"

How often do we think we understand something? Only the subsequent inquiry shows that Statement and understanding for milesapart lay. Very good, if asked at all. If not, the misunderstanding would persist. Each of the two would then have their own, different, differing reality in memory.
We know this from the amazed remark we hear every day: "Oh!" I recognize that the first statement my counterpart meant was different from the way I first understood it. Although we both speak and understand our mother tongue quite well. My "oh so" shows that something is not what I first thought.
Both interlocutors wonder how this misunderstanding came about. Wrong, flippant, inappropriate words, unfavorable sentence order for the speaker? Or superficial listening to me, the listener?
Or did I expect other words, another statement, and took these as reality? My different point of view plays a role. We see that communication is very, very difficult.

We seldom find real agreement because different people think, act and feel differently. Everyone has different experiences, experiences, ways of thinking. He arranges and evaluates words, sentences and questions accordingly.
You will know people who reacted irritably to a question you meant nicely. But it is also possible the other way round. A subtle question leads to a relaxed, friendly answer. Why? Because your interlocutor put your question in different categories. With a different point of view and mentality with different self-confidence, knowledge and experience, we often react differently than expected.
Striking: Most of the misunderstandings go unnoticed. Either the content of the statement is too banal to talk about it for long, or there is no question or answer. Even if the answer to a question is unsatisfactory, the questioner does not follow up.

Perhaps he is wondering about the answer or does not dare to ask again. Often it doesn't even occur to him that his question has not been interpreted in his way. If a third person is there who recognizes and uncovered an obvious misunderstanding, we can tell by the typical sentence to the questioner: "Did you mean, didn't you ...?" "Yes exactly ....!" Answer: "Oh ...!" Now he tells the expected variant of the event.
(The range of strategic and malicious answers is excluded here: ignoring questions, deliberately answering in general, counter-questions ...)

"Is it really so? Or do I just believe that it is?"

The forerunner of the comedians, Heinz Erhardt said: "You don't have to believe everything you think!"Mischievously, this is a key phrase. Everything we think depends on our point of view. Depending on our own customary prejudices, which naturally every person should always have a critical eye, social environment, their own past, occupation and other factors.

We perceive something with our senses, we compare this with our experiences, our sensible, intuitive gut feeling, supplement our knowledge, bring our intellect with us. Then we act or react verbally or act. Isn't that a long way? From the sentence heard, the perceived facial expressions and gestures to our assessment. What did my interlocutor just say?

Does what he meant agree with what he said? Not everyone expresses themselves appropriately. Does what he said match what I heard? Do I translate what I heard correctly and how do I interpret it? All of this is not a philosophy, it shows how error-prone communication is. Would there otherwise be unintentional insults, resentments, anger?

Regardless of whether in German or English: Does the reaction of my interlocutor seem rougher than my statement, I have to look into what exactly he understood, how he understood it. Then I have to try to describe the context in different words. It is very important to ask questions, not to let something persist with the obvious misunderstanding.

Of course, this also applies the other way around: If the person I am talking to says something that I see as difficult to understand, annoying or that deviates from our previous agreements, I have to follow up. I repeat what he said in my own words and ask whether I understood it exactly. In most cases it is only now that a misunderstanding has shaken communication.

Sharpen your awareness when you speak English.

Listen carefully. Pay attention to details. Be sure to follow up, even if you are uncomfortable. Don't think about your answer at the last sentence. Different characters and mentalities define words and sentences in completely different ways.
The time indication "he stayed long" means half an hour for one person and half a day for the next. That is why we train techniques in OK English training. For example, to describe what we mean as concretely as possible. The more concretely you express yourself, the more likely it is that subsequent misleading sentences will be revealed as such. Good for both parties.
Be aware of intercultural differences. The people of many nations are very polite in their dealings and in the language. Not as direct as we Germans. "We awarded the contract to your competitor!" You will rarely hear from there. The message with the same content from Great Britain always comes across as friendly and positive after five emails. Only by the hesitant expression between the lines do we finally recognize the bad news.
Particularly when we speak English, at work, when we don't know the person we're talking to very well, perhaps hearing and talking to them for the first time, details are important. You decide yes or no. In our opinion, an "isn´t" quickly becomes a positive "is".

If we are inexperienced in language, we will not recognize individual English words. Understanding is inevitably delayed. Details distract us more quickly and we miss and ignore important information. An order does not become an order.
You recognize: The statement: "I have in approximately Understanding that it is about an order "is unsatisfactory for everyone involved. You need facts and reliable.
Even if we pay attention to details because we have trained in English speaking practice, misunderstandings slip through our perception. Own and foreign. Just like in our mother tongue. With targeted question training, you will quickly get used to the right questions to deliver. And you train yourself to dare to ask questions. Questions that make sense at critical points in the conversation are crucial for the process, understanding and outcome.

OK English training
Bahnstrasse 8
Germany / Hessen 55411 Train English speaking practice for the job. Speak and understand English confidently and fluently. Train as easily as you learned your mother tongue as a child. Intensive English trainings start every week.Train with fun, two to three other professionals and a native trainer.
Phone: 06721-994741