Another Denglish phrase used in Germany: Lady-Fitness


TOEIC listening, question-response: Should we go to Disneyland or Disneyworld?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Well, this one is not really English, Torsten.



Hi Jamie, maybe the phrase is not English but it’s used by American companies.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: In which city were you born?[YSaerTTEW443543]


The latest advertising catchword in Germany, is what!

I don’t believe it’s used by American companies, at least with that hyphen in there and the stress on the word “lady”, as the Germans would pronounce it.

It is conceivable that an American company would use “Lady Fitness” (no hyphen, with the stress on the second word) in the sense of “Lady Chatterly” or something like that. Otherwise the phrase would be “ladies’ fitness”, or if the writers or designers are ignorant of punctuation, “ladies fitness”.

Ah, now I see on the Internet that there is a US company called “Lady Fitness”. However, this is pronounced “Lady FITNESS”, like the made-up name of a noblewoman, not “LADY fitness” as it undoubtedly sounds in German. So you can’t offer “lady-fitness” in English.

I think this slogan dates back to the 1960s or before in the United States. It just shows what happens when people are “creative”.

Surely they can be forgiven in thinking it is their creation if they had never heard it earlier.

After all, they are paid “big bucks” for coming up with these “ideas.”

It reminds me of the case many years ago when the big US TV network NBC paid an advertising agency huge money to come up with a new logo. It went all the way through all the client approval processes and went on the air before anyone found out it was the same logo already used for years by Nebraska Public Television. (You see, to New Yorkers, Nebraska is mere flyover country, and they can’t possibly come up with innovative ideas there, so nobody looked between coasts to see if the trademark was already in use.) It ended up being the basis of a trademark infringement suit.

Jamie your correct the phrase ‘Lady-Fitness’ is not really used in either the UK or US, but it is made up of 2 English words. This is typical of Denglish being used everyday here in Germany, sometimes it’s used correctly, sometimes not. As an English trainer I often use the topic of Denglish for debates within the training rooms, and as you can imagine it creates good arguments. The main point here is English is used a lot with a German structure, which means Lady-fitness is very clear as to what it means.

Recently I read an article about some official protests.

[color=red]Protests against Denglish.

Some years ago, the Institute for the German Language wrote a scathing letter to Deutsche Telekom to protest its adoption of “grotesque” terms such as City Call, Holiday plus Tarif and German Call.

The President of the Institute, Wolfang Kramer was so enraged at the blatant sullying of the German language that he founded the Society for the Protection of the German Language, which now awards a prize for the Sprachpanscher (language debaser) of the year.

[color=red]Denglish - unstoppable.

But today, most people in Germany would merely scoff at a protest like that. And few people would listen to Walter Krämer, Chairman of the Society for the Protection of the German language spluttering about Anglicisms as “pseudo cosmopolitan drivel”.

These are after all the days of Generation @. Today the German language nonchalantly helps itself to internet jargon as soon as it is coined – “Browser”, “Provider”, “Server”, “Update”, “Surfen”.Teenspeak overflows with expressions such as “cool”, “hip”, “kids”, “trendy”, “sexy”, “relaxen”.

And Germans in the business world are “CEOs”, “Bankers” “Managers”, “Global Players”, “High potentials”. They go to the “office”, attend “meetings”, work in “teams”, participate in “workshops” and consider "stock options".

Without such universally understood terms, many would be hard pressed to describe their “Job”, buy the right products when they go “Shoppen” or spend the evening “chatten” on the internet

For me what is really amazing, some of the younger people I’ve taught don’t actually no the original German translation for many of the common Denglish words.

Anyways Happy New Year to all

Not to forget: chillen ;-)[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Whose turn is it to refill the ink?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Scott, you’re a language trainer, so please write in good English.

One problem is that many Denglish terms are not universally understood, because, although they come from English, they are not English. This is why I cannot understand many half-Denglish business texts that I would understand perfectly if they were in German. There is the appearance of English words being used, but their meaning in Denglish is far from their original meaning in English. When you put a lot of them together in one German article or paragraph, it becomes impossible for a native English speaker to figure out much of what is being said, even if he is fluent in German.

Hi Jamie, YOU’RE correct I’m a language trainer but to be honest when using the computer and internet we often use these short forms which I KNOW are not correct grammar but common.
As is slang but would you correct me for using slang?

One more thing, I think you’ll find Denglish is actually aimed at Germans not native speakers. It’s more often used in marketing to show a little bit of flare!

But thanks anyway for your feedback


Scott, I don’t think you’ve had the experience of having students show up at your office door wanting to get into an English preparation program for university studies, only to find out that their entire writing is littered with Internet abbreviations and that they can’t distinguish between the abbreviations and real English.

Using abbreviations in texting is one thing, but using them as a trainer or native speaker in an ESL forum is destructive to the progress of the people trying to learn the language.

Besides, the mistakes you made were not typical of computer abbreviations, but completely consistent with the ordinary writing of native English speakers who are being sloppy, or of those who are trying to write correctly but have trouble doing it.

Hi Jamie,
I really hope you had a brilliant night.

Yes I agreed with you it was incorrect and a bit sloppy to use this sort of language on here. I apologise if this somehow upset or offended you!
As i explained it is normal to use ‘your’ in place of ‘you’re’ and ‘no’ instead ‘know’, but more on portals such as Skype, yahoo etc. When I replied to your thread I was using my ‘Handy’ (mobile) so you’ll have to excuse my punctuation and use of bad written English but maybe I was sucked into texting mode.

So Jamie have a great 2010 and please keep posting your feedback on here, for me it’s very interesting to find someone so passionate about the English language.

Best wishes


In case of ‘Lady Fitness’ I’m still not quite sure whether or not it would qualify as a ‘true Denglish term’ since there is at least one American company that uses almost the exact same name: Lady Fitness/

In addition, there is a French company that uses the name ‘LadyFitness’ too. So, it might be more the case of a brand name rather than pure Denglish.

What do you reckon?

TOEIC listening, question-response: Weren’t you at the conference last month?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Torsten, in Lady-Fitness it’s the hyphen that gives it away as Denglish. (1) The hyphen would not be there in English, and (2) it makes it appear that the stress is on “lady” rather than on “fitness”.

Jamie, the official name of the company doesn’t contain any hyphens: Lady Fitness eK[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Does Helen know how to use Excel?[YSaerTTEW443543]

The sign in your photo shows a hyphen. Don’t show a hyphen and then expect me to know it doesn’t have one.