At my (large, multinational, Germany-headquartered) employer, I frequently hear "on the one hand side... on the other hand side" by non-native speakers. This always sets my teeth on edge. However, I have heard it often enough coming from many different people that I'm getting unsure of my intuition. Then again, it could just be incorrect usage spreading from non-native speaker to non-native speaker.

Is "on the one hand side" accepted usage, or is my hunch correct that it isn't?

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    I'm sure you know that, but just for the sake of completeness: In Germany they literally say "on the one side...on the other side" – Em1 Jan 29 '15 at 10:38
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    I've certainly never heard or seen it anywhere, and Google hits all seem to be from (and many of them also about) Germlish specifically, so I'd say it's probably a feature limited mostly to non-native speakers who have German as their first language. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 29 '15 at 10:39

In places like NYC, where people from almost any country on the planet can find a neighborhood where their native language is spoken, it's common to hear "slightly-off idioms" that are characteristic among those who speak the same native tongue.

I suspect that they adapt what they hear from native speakers, so that it makes sense in the syntax of their own languages.

Sometimes, they just like the way it sounds - for instance: My grandparent's generation came from Italy to NYC. It was common to hear the phrase, "Bumper-to-bumper traffic," on the radio. Grandma and Grandpa (and their "paesans") used to say, "If we go to the beach, we gotta leave extra time 'cause you got the "bom-bidi-bom" out there." Among Italians in the area, "bom-bidi-bom" became synonymous with "heavy traffic.

I think your following assessment is correct: "...incorrect usage spreading from non-native speaker to non-native speaker."


your hunch is correct sir: In the other one hand side is a wrong translation---please see:


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