What the British say.
What the British mean.
What the Dutch understand.
|I hear what you say.||I disagree and do not want to discuss it any further.||He accepts my point of view.|
|With the greatest respect…||I think you are wrong (or a fool).||He is listening to me.|
|That’s not bad.||That’s good or very good.||That’s poor or mediocre.|
|Quite good||A bit disappointing||Quite good|
|Perhaps you would like to think about… |
/ I would suggest…
|That is an order. Do it or be prepared to justify yourself.||Think about the idea, but do what you like.|
|When appropriate locally…||Do what you like.||Do it if you can.|
|Oh, by the way… / Incidentally…||The primary purpose of our discussion is…||This is not very important.|
|I was a bit disappointed that… / It is a pity you…||I am most upset and cross.||It doesn’t really matter.|
|Very interesting…||I don’t agree / don’t believe you.||They are impressed.|
|Could we consider some more options?||I don’t like your idea.||They have not yet decided.|
|I’ll bear it in mind.||I will do nothing about it.||They will probably do it.|
|Please think about that some more.||It’s a bad idea; don’t do it.||It’s a good idea; keep developing it.|
|I’m sure it’s my fault.||It is your fault !||It was their fault.|
|That is an original point of view.||You must be crazy.||They like my ideas !|
|You must come for dinner sometime.||Not an invitation, just being polite.||I will get an invitation soon.|
|You’ll get there eventually.||You don’t stand a chance in hell.||Keep on trying for they agree I’m heading in the right direction.|
|I almost agree.||I don’t agree at all.||He’s not far from agreement.|
posted on my office wall by the prior tenant.