Category Archives: Education

Common English Errors By Native Turkish Speakers

In my job as a lecturer in Computer Engineering in Turkey, I frequently have the opportunity to read the writings of native speakers of Turkish who have English as a second language. Here I have compiled some of the typical deviations from canonical English (if there is any such thing); the hope is that Turkish speakers of English can examine these and improve their writing.

─░lgilenmek/be interested in/get involved in

The problematic text: I want to be interested in robotics.

The correct text: I am interested in robotics and I want to get involved in it.

Comment: Here the word ilgilenmek has multiple meanings that become separate words in English. Involved and interested contain these separate meanings.

There is not any

The problematic text: There is not any reason to be afraid.

The correct text: There is no reason to be afraid.

Comment: This is unfortunately one example of many where the idiomatic phrase might not be as expected.

Homeworks / homework / assignments

The problematic text: We have too many homeworks.

The correct text: We have too much homework / too many assignments.

Comment: Homework is an uncountable noun – expressing continuous not discrete quantities. Assignments are countable.

By using

The (slightly) problematic text: You can get there by using the button.

The correct text: You can get there using the button.

Comment: Using does not need to take by. It is happy without it.

Kontrol / control / checking

The problematic text: This will be controlled by human resources.

The correct text: This will be checked by human resources.

Comment: Although kontrol would seem to translate directly into control, it more often would be translate as check. The English to control frequently translates into Turkish as denetlemek.