Bad English isn’t always the result of poor education or carelessness when it comes to proper syntax. Quite a lot of the time it’s because English isn’t the person’s native language, and they don’t understand the numerous linguistic rules. Something gets lost in translation, and “I ask that you do this for me” becomes “I demand this request be transferred into answer!” The basic gist is usually apparent to the listener, but the language has still been beaten up pretty badly in the process and should probably be taken out for a stiff drink.
Colloquialisms are particularly hard to translate. If you’re not from an English-speaking nation, there’s no real way to know that “Kick the bucket!” means to expire, or that “Dressed for bear” doesn’t mean they should start dressing like a furry. Along similar lines, the Liberal Democratic Party is actually the ultra-conservative party in Japan, but unless you know that you are likely to gain a skewed version of politics in that country. The only real hope is to build up a resistance to poorly chosen words or phrases before you lose your marbles (figuratively) and start throwing dictionaries at people on the subway.
A few mistranslations from around the around:
Switzerland – Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.
Japan – Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.
Romania – The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time, we regret that you will be unbearable.
France – Please leave your values at the front desk.
Norway – Ladies are requested to not have children in the bar.
Greece – Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.