It might be an odd question but how to handle bad English By handle I mean: understand it and correct it. Sometimes you meet phrases that are written in very bad English. Mostly the work of poor translators. When you read these articles you can't surely know if what you've understood is what is really written. You always have to guess. There are many examples on the web.

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    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
    – Mick
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:19
  • @Mick it's not that bad Nov 29, 2016 at 17:32
  • I regret that I must inform you (though you may find it consoling) that most very bad English is written not by poor translators but by incompetent native speakers. Nov 29, 2016 at 17:48
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    @StoneyB this cannot be. Natives making mistakes and writing incorrectly? Oh, you mustabe kiddin'. Nov 29, 2016 at 17:55
  • Is this a meta question or one about English as a whole? Nov 29, 2016 at 18:23

1 Answer 1

  1. Remember the person who writes poor English might be a literary genius in their native language. Second languages can be hard, especially if you're not regularly exposed to native speakers.

  2. There is always a logic behind every sentence, no matter how poorly formed. If you are familiar with the quirks of a particular language, you can sometimes guess what the native speaker of that language is trying to say in English, just filtered through what is familiar to them.

  3. English is a notoriously difficult language. It has many common quirks that make no logical sense and which must be memorized. It contradicts itself all over the place, and nuances vary widely from dialect to dialect.

Perhaps more than any other language, English speakers get used to non-native speakers trying to communicate in English and (hopefully) learn to "read between the lines" when something is unclear. Of course there are many people who won't bother, but as someone who has been in the same situation in many other countries where I didn't speak the native language, I try to empathize with what anyone is trying to say.

  • Is it because English is such a popular language? Nov 29, 2016 at 17:44
  • @SovereignSun like it or not English is the primary language of international commerce and diplomacy. Many countries require students to study it as their main foreign language (although they may choose to study another as an elective), and so you have people all over the world speaking it imperfectly, but nevertheless communicating.
    – Andrew
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:52
  • I love English, really, but I hate it when i can't understand something that I must be able to understand. Nov 29, 2016 at 17:56
  • @SovereignSun especially see my #2 comment. Remember there must be a logic behind every sentence. Could you post an example of something that you really find frustrating and I can explain how I might try to understand it?
    – Andrew
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:58
  • I've been doing research on short hairstyles and haircuts and found a web site with ridiculous English, short-haircut.com/really-cool-asymmetrical-pixie-cut-pics.html Nov 29, 2016 at 18:33

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