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.)

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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 😉

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