I have a doubt…

There seem to be certain phrases that only non-native speakers of a language use, regardless of their native tongue. The one I’ve seen the most is using ‘doubt’ as a noun: “I have a doubt about X.” I’ve seen it used in my bioinformatics class, and I’ve seen it on the Google Summer of Code mailing lists.

Is there a name for these constructions? From a native speaker’s point of view, they’re awkward, but might seem idiomatic to non-native speakers? Pidgin + Idioms = Pidioms, perhaps? (Google has no meaningful results for that word.)


One thought on “I have a doubt…

  1. My guess is that they literally translate a phrase which makes sense in their native language. Next time try asking them how it goes in their native language, this may be enlightening 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s