The same is true in the reverse sense. If, in French, someone tells me that something “tomber pile,” I might be able to translate that, word-for-word, as “fall battery,” which means nothing to me. That’s because the idiomatic meaning of the French phrase, meaning “to land on a dime” is lost in the translation.
Globish, Nerrieire explains, means to eliminate that confusion, and many other confusions. If we eliminate the idiomatic expressions, the four-dollar words, the chances of miscommunication are reduced dramatically.
I’ve seen this happen time and again when I was learning to speak French. Once, I recall, I started telling a story by using the phrase “Il y etait une fois,” which I’d read in a book and loosely translated, in my pidgin-French, as “One time,” a common way to begin a sentence in English.
I used the phrase and got a big laugh. Turns out “Il y etait une fois” does carry that figurative meaning, but the literal meaning is equivalent to English’s “Once upon a time.” They laughed because they thought I was going to tell a fairy story. Getting fancy with a language often shows a learner is trying, but also shows a learner is misunderstanding the idioms and culture of the language being used. Globish could be used to fix that – because it’s meant not only to be used by non-native English speakers but by native speakers as well – helping us to curb our idiomatic use in order to be better understood by those who aren’t native speakers of our language.
That’s how I survived living two years in France. Not that I wasn’t learning and practicing French idioms, but that the French folk I was speaking to learned to modify their language as they were speaking to me in order to boost my comprehension. I appreciate that more now that I look back on it, and have a better understanding of what Globish’s proponents are trying to do. It is as I said in my earlier post on the subject: Better Globish than traditional Anglo-American gibberish.
Here's a fun example: Pick out all the examples of "Gangsterish" in this clip from Sylvester Stallone's film Oscar. It's a lot of fun, especially the part with Dr. Poole.