Denglisch and Germany's War of Words
Panic has been generated in some sections of the German community because of the amount of "foreign", mostly English, words and phrases that in a relatively short space of time have been brought into use in their everyday language.
Some politicians have insisted only original German words are used in the workplace, and on official documents, anything English or "Denglisch" examples must be omitted.
The advertising industry has also had to adjust their campaigns, to include less of the language, or at least use English that is understandable and not open to misinterpretation.
Denglisch has been adopted and assimilated by both young and not so young, in mainstream life and advertising, however among Germany's older generations it can cause confusion as well as a feeling of exclusion.
While many Germans speak and understand some English, with about 10 percent fluent in the language, but it is also open to misinterpretation.
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Here is a partial list of the banned words, with a few of the many Denglisch words and phrases used as direct replacements for the German originals.
There is "Saugling" or "kleinkind" for example, which is now more commonly known as a "baby", "sandwich" for "Klappstulle", "Liebesgeschichte" a "love story", together with some of the 'new' words that have been formed from a mixture of German and English,
Denglisch: words and phrases, with their meanings
Bag held close to the body
Something that has been popular for a long while such as a song or a film
Cell or mobile phone
To work, to have a job
Low paying job
Vintage or classic aircraft or car
Mixed family with children from different parents
A dinner or evening suit
A few of the over 150 English words now in use that some politicians say must be replaced, in the workplace and on official documents, with the original German word or phrase.
Mittagessen fuer bedeutende
Info-Brief, aktuelle Mitteilung
elektronische Post, Elektropost
gruene (umweltfreundliche) Autos
Convenient, widely used and universally understood English words and phrases are not likely to disappear from Germany; the change has already gone too far.
For example when bumping into someone it's just quicker to say "Sorry", with an emphasis on the "r", rather than "Entschuldigung," although this is still heard just not as often.
Even "Computer Junkie" is easier to handle than "Bildschirmbräune", which is literally "Screen Tan" and describes someone who spends a lot of their life in front of a computer screen.
Major German banks and most other businesses dealing world wide complete much of their trade in English so, although time will change their country's vocabulary in many ways, such a quick and thorough influx of new, and sometimes bizarre, terminology has also helped Germany's people to rediscover their own language.
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