Not Deutschlish

Language Hat linked to a New York Times article about Denglish, which is the increasing use of English in Germany.

The article says, "Regarding Denglish, it's not hard to see the appeal of English, its ability to provide a kind of quick verbal punch, compared with the polysyllabic nature of German." Like I've said before, the structure of German makes it seem scary.

Maybe Germans are scared, too: "...for many Germans, it seems a lot simpler and maybe more cheerful to say 'Happy Birthday,' than 'Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag,' which sounds a bit like a streak of Hegelian metaphysics." I can imagine kids crying all over Deutschland at their birthday parties when they're greeted with the latter sentence.

Luckily, my virtual buddy, the same guy (or chap, since he's a Brit) who gave his opinion on Spinal Tap's accent had some things to say about English in Germany, a couple months before the NYTimes article came out:

Some observers would comment that this is part of the reason that most language gets mistranslated in Germany. The German constitution says that the official language is German, but the gradual anglification of German is almost unilateral. In those same government buildings you see signs saying 'Restricted Area', IN ENGLISH... half the new buzzwords don't ever get translated into the country's official language... advertising slogans are English... colloquial German is constantly picking up new words for things, mostly in a colloquial English translation (entspannt=relaxed, Belastung=Stress, Gerechtigkeit=Fairneß, leicht=easy, Körperlotion=body lotion (pron. 'buddy lotion' (!))... the list could fill a quite a funny book. The other side of the coin is, though, that Germany is losing its culture through the laziness of people who should know better. Ask a German what 'marketing' means and they will tell you it means 'Marketing'. The same goes for 'training', 'management', and 'design' to name three more examples. All this when German is a beautiful language with extra exactitude that lends itself well to philosophy and technology, a language that has given English beautiful words like 'Zeitgeist', 'Gestalt', 'Angst'... it's a very unfair situation.

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