Good Reading

Last time I travelled abroad by plane I bought a book in one of the airport bookstores. You know, one of those books you buy just to pass the time during the flight…

This time, I was in for a real surprise and therefore I will recommend you this little book for a change.

It is, of course, translation focused. It is also fun to read. Really. I kept giggling and chuckling all the time, sometimes almost to the point of cracking up. The fun part, of course, are the mistakes frequently made by native speakers of German when they use similar words in English that are, however, totally inappropriate in a given situation.

The book’s title is “False Friends in Business English”. It was ingeniously written by Stephanie Shellabear. The intended audience are business women and men in German speaking countries. Not only does Shellabear give wonderful real-life examples, she also emphasises pitfalls, describes common mistakes and shows how to avoid them. She has a clear, easy-to-read instructive style without ever lecturing the reader.

I particularly liked the classification of errors by cringe factor. A very good idea!

The book will be really helpful to those German speaking Austrian, German and Swiss business travellers, who want to avoid some of the embarrasing moments when the English speaking opposite is too polite to comment on yet another gross misnomer…

And for those with good knowledge of English (and native or very good knowledge of German) it is hilarious lecture*.

Good reading:False Friends in Business English, Stephanie ShellabearStephanie Shellabear,

False Friends in Business English,

ISBN 978-3-648-01113-3,

Really good reading.


*pardon the pun, couldn’t resist: that would be the German “Lektüre”, which, of course, should be translated as “to read” or “reading” in this place…;-)


2 Responses to “Good Reading”

  1. Martin Herget Says:

    I think i spider there is a book about it, i have to read it, because my english is under all pig. but fun by side do you know that site karo? 😉

    • Says:

      Thanks, Martin, great link! Very funny! A word of explanation to readers not so familiar with the German language: the ithinkispider site recommended by Martin only makes sense, if you have very good knowledge of German. In fact, many German phrases and words are colloquial, some are only used in certain regions of German speaking countries. Of course, this is funny only for us German native speakers. Kids, don’t try this in real life! 😉

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