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