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Zinnat Rahman from Bangladesh reads a book in the upper intermediate ESL class offered at the R.H. Stafford Library. Staff photo by Riham Feshir

Easy as pie? Not quite

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"Let's hang out."

A simple idiom understood and used regularly by Americans.

Now try looking up the phrase word for word. Let: to allow or to permit. Us: the objective case of we. Hang: to fasten from above. Out: away from the inside.

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"Allow we to fasten away from the inside."

Huh?

That may be the reaction by an English Language Learner using a handheld translator to understand the sentence on the go.

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Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
(651) 702-0974
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