Denglisch and Germany's War of Words

Denglisch and Germany's War of Words
February 21 is The United Nation's (UN) "International Mother Language Day", held to celebrate worldwide language diversity and the right to use these languages. While globalization together with the progress of modern life is bringing about the spreading, sharing and merging of languages and their usage, and German is one of the languages still evolving.

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.

Like to know more?

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

Babysitten
Babysitting
Body Bag
Bag held close to the body
Downloaden
Downloading
Evergreen
Something that has been popular for a long while such as a song or a film
Filme
Films, Movies
Fitness Studio
Gym
Handy
Cell or mobile phone
Jobben
To work, to have a job
McJob
Low paying job
Mobbing
Bullying
Oldtimer
Vintage or classic aircraft or car
Partnerlook
Matching outfits
Patchwork family
Mixed family with children from different parents
Pullunder
Tanktop
Shooting
Photoshoot
Showmaster
TV Host
Smoking
A dinner or evening suit
Street worker
Social worker
Wellness Hotel
Spa Hotel

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.

Airline
Fluggesellschaft, Fluglinie
Laptop
Klapprechner
Meeting
Besprechung.
Weblog
Internettagebuch
Ticket
Fahrschein, Flugschein
Workshop
Arbeitstagung, Seminar,
Brainstorming
Ideensammlung
Backup
Sicherung, Absicherung
VIP-Lunch
Mittagessen fuer bedeutende
Personen (Ehrengaeste)
Newsletter
Info-Brief, aktuelle Mitteilung
Mail
elektronische Post, Elektropost
Know-how
Wissen
Keynote Speech
Grundsatzrede
Green Cars
gruene (umweltfreundliche) Autos
Administration
Verwaltung
Brainstorming
Ideensammlung
E-Mail
(elektronische) Nachricht
Download
Herunterladen

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.





You Should Also Read:
Denglisch Germany's Fusion of Deutsche and English
English-German Idioms
Friedrich Nietzsche, Quotations

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Content copyright © 2018 by Francine McKenna-Klein. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Francine McKenna-Klein. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Francine A. McKenna for details.