Find the following phrases in the left-hand column:
- Very interesting.
- I almost agree.
- I only have a few minor comments.
Then look at the middle column to see what you think people would understand. Then finally look at the right-hand to see what British people really mean.
Anglo-EU Translation Guide
|What the British say||What others understand||What the British mean|
|I hear what you say||He accepts my point of view||I disagree and do not want to discuss it further|
|With the greatest respect…||He is listening to me||I think you are an idiot|
|That’s not bad||That’s poor||That’s good|
|That is a very brave proposal||He thinks I have courage||You are insane|
|Quite good||Quite good||A bit disappointing|
|I would suggest…||Think about the idea, but do what you like||Do it or be prepared to justify yourself|
|Oh, incidentally by the way||That is not very important||The primary purpose of our discussion is…|
|I was a bit disappointed that||It doesn’t really matter||I am annoyed that|
|Very interesting||They are impressed||That is clearly nonsense|
|I’ll bear it in mind||They will probably do it||I’ve forgotten it already|
|I’m sure it’s my fault||Why do they think it was their fault?||It’s your fault|
|You must come for dinner||I will get an invitation soon||It’s not an invitation, I’m just being polite|
|I almost agree||He’s not far from agreement||I don’t agree at all|
|I only have a few minor comments||He has found a few typos||Please re-write completely|
|Could we consider some other options||They have not yet decided||I don’t like your idea|