Seymour Gris: Freaks fighting for German




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freedom is free

Wait...I thought English WAS German. Arent these both sort of "made-up" languages to begin with? Has anyone ever heard Dutch? Language...its a virus!

free bird more than 9 years ago

English is a great language.

Everyone should speak it.

Prostletyzer more than 9 years ago

Tribal language

Great article sir. I used to subscribe to said newspaper - in mitigation it is free until you're 26 - and although the obsessive filtering through advertising material in search of 'Denglisch incidents' becomes grating after a while, German is a rich language and it's a shame to see it, if not abused, not enjoyed by its native speakers. The 'Verein für deutsche Sprache' serves a purpose.

I'm all for a multilingual Europe of everyone being fluent in multiple languages, but this making of German into imitation English is pathetic; a bit like saying you're a citizen of the world because you go and eat at ethnic restaurants. It's a token gesture towards a global world. I actually think it's much more global and multicultural to create foreigners who are integrated into German society and speak German; to reduce, as it were, the purity of the German tribe.

Still, to me younger Germans seem to me much less hung up about their language (and nationality); might it be the case that Denglish is the product of older Germans, who don't really command English wanting to appear, in good Denglish, up-to-date?

James Harris more than 9 years ago

not a

struggle in my mind - it's an opportunity to have fun and learn something. "For you - vor Ort" is actually funny. One of my faves is still the BSR-slogan "we kehr for you", which actually forces the recipient to employ both sides of the brain, the English and the German one. Let's face it - it takes two to tango; you have a choice to say "heruntergeladen" (like I would) instead of "gedownloaded". One more thought though - don't confuse the use of English loan words with American culture. Don't forget that the influx, or example, of English computer/internet terminology came during the Bush-years, at a time when Germans had the lowest-ever opinion of the U.S. ever.

Änne more than 9 years ago

Lingua Franca

Almost every European country is struggling with the growing number of English loan words and blends in their language. The fact is, even though the US is struggling as a world power/economy or however you want to word it, American culture and therefore language is still highly in demand. For whatever reason English is still very much en vogue, and is therefore the mostly widely used lingua franca (which means "language bridge"--the language we can all agree to speak no matter where we go). It is the language everyone wants to speak, the language that is the most prominent and therefore infiltrating other languages and leaving pieces of itself behind. If it sounds weird that I'm personifying the English language, it's because I am, because Lingua Francas really do seem to have a life force of their own. At one time French was the Lingua Franca and while it is no longer en vogue, many languages--including English and German--have not recovered from the effects and still utilize many French words. This is just part of social and linguistic evolution, it really is a natural process that has always happened, and one day English will wane and another Lingua Franca will come along.

Caitlin more than 9 years ago

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