What do you think of 'Denglish'?


I am quoting from one of today’s National papers in the UK and would be interested to know if your language is being invaded by English.




Hi Alan

You’d think from reading Herr Lammert’s statement that the US finally has an official language. That’s not yet the case, as far as I know.

In the last hundred years or so, there have been a number of bills introduced in Congress trying to legislate English as the official national language. None of them passed and became law. The bill that Lammert referred to has not yet become law. The “national language” part is an ammendment that was tacked onto a larger immigration bill. It should be interesting to see whether the ammendment stays put or ends up being removed (again 8)).

Some of the individual states in the US have declared English to be the official state language and there are also a couple of officially bi-lingual states.

But, coming to your actual topic, it is quite true that there are a lot of English words mixed into everyday German speech and writing nowadays. It’s also interesting to see what the Germans do when they use an adopted English verb in the past tense. For example, the German version of downloaded is downgeloadet. :smiley:

I find it interesting that latte is seen as “Denglish” since that’s a borrowed word in the first place. :lol:


English seems to also have this impact on languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet. I wouldn’t qualify its influence on Bulgarian as an ‘invasion’, but some younger Bulgarians do borrow some expressions from popular songs or movies or American jargon and use them occasionally, mostly on the Internet when chatting. Also, some phrases like McDonalds’ “I’m lovin’ it” were never translated in Bulgarian, seemingly because they would sound stupid.
I find this quite natural, given the fact that 95% of the movies on TV/in theatres and most of the music are size=75[/size] in English.

The worst problem is that the youth use ‘latinized’ Bulgarian (written with Latin letters instead of Cyrillic ones) in Internet chats (and some forums), which leads to problems in school (silly spelling mistakes and such) because of the imperfections of the transliterating.


I think that English is the language of the world, wherever you go, you are going to be able to find someone knowing english, WHEREVER!!
Spanish people (RAE) - Real ACademia Espa?ola - are really worried about how English is getting an important space into young people, whom usually talk with English terms, like cool, that’s cool, blue jeans, music, we are more interested in foreign artist, bands, they all sing in english so we wish to learn English someday…

About ten years ago in Hungary at the Balaton lake all the hotels, restaurans and beaches were full of signs writen by German. “bad and breakfast” was like “Zimmer frei” and the menues were in German. The govarnment forced them to change everything back to Hungarian, even the names of the pubs had to be translated to Hungarian.
It didn’t work out so well, now everybody do whatewer they want I guess.
At this moment in my country everyone’s trying to put more and more English words in their sentences and wants to look like they has forgotten those words.
They speak like if they know English so much that they don’t speak proper Hungarian anymore.
They go like: “what do you call it in Hungarian?”
I say: “Never mind, say it in English.”
If I change to English, they turn back to Hungarian.
If someone speaks English they think they are the only one.
If two people come up to me and ask something and one of them speaks English, the other speaks Hungarian, it’s so funny. The one who speaks Hungarian ALWAYS translates without asking if I speak English or not.
I answer to the Hungarian like this:
“Tell him to go that way for one block and blablabla”
He get confused and wants to talk to the English first in Hungarian, then in English when he realises he’s repeating me.
I’m bad :slight_smile:

I think it’s funny when governments are trying to tell their people how they have to speak. Who controls the language of government officials? You can’t order a person what words they should use. Who says which word belongs to which language? Imagine what happened if every nation started to demand that other nations not use their words? Why can’t words like ‘cool’ or ‘easy’ become German words? Every language borrows words from other languages. Why would a government be able to stop this natural process?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: The market[YSaerTTEW443543]


When I think of the language of some government officials in the US, I just have to laugh. They’ve got their own sort of “Governmentese” (some of which appears to be a close relative of “Legalese”). What comes out of their mouths and flows from their pens is nothing but a lot of mumbo-jumbo and politically correct garbage much of the time. :?

The US does have an official language now. It was declared by Congress a few months ago. It’s English, by the way.

There was a big stink over it. Some groups claimed it was “racist” to declare an official language, and they were claiming it meant that all government services in other languages would be cut off. Of course, all it did was establish that the government is not OBLIGATED to provide services in languages other than English, but agencies can still provide them if they want to. I think it’s a good development, because Spanish was usually the only other language services were provided in, and this set Hispanics up as a privileged immigrant class with access to free services that were not provided to Arabs, Albanians, Poles, etc.

Not long ago I heard a guy at a steel company say outgesourced. It shows something interesting about Germanic languages. They all have those verb particles (out/aus), and they all indicate the past with an alveolar consonant at the end of the stem (d/t), so you can plug an English verb into German without it disturbing the system.

I once had to give lessons in business German to a lady at one company. After a few months, I told the agency that sent me to her to give her a native German speaker. The problem was not that the German was too hard. I was doing fine with that. The problem was that as the textbook progressed, it was filled with more and more Denglish that I couldn’t decipher. Knowing the meaning of the original English word did not help half the time. So a business or economic text that would have been completely clear to me, if it were totally in German, suddenly became almost incomprehensible when a lot of “English” was mixed in. I was a passable German teacher for this lady, but after a while it became obvious that she needed a native Denglish speaker.