Denglish article in English/Artikel auf Englisch zu Neudeutsch

Senioren Union: Aufruf zur Unterschriften Aktion gegen sinnlose Anglizismen.

Abnu of Wordlab (see also earlier entry) drew my attention in an email to a Deutsche Welle article in English on Denglish.

Apparently February 21st, a week ago, was International Mother Language Day. The article suggests more German is beginning to be used in advertisements in Germany – for instance, McDonalds has replaced the slogan ‘Every time a good time’ by ‘Ich liebe es’ (I love it, or, according to Deutsche Welle, I’m lovin’ it – well, OK, that’s the original US verb form, but it doesn’t really go into German, at least not as Ich liebe es).

It also recounts the study that found how poorly many Germans understand English slogans. I mentioned it briefly earlier and PapaScott had a fuller report. But this is the first report in English I remember seeing – there must have been others, though. And the article gives a number of other examples of Denglish.

There’s a group of older people in Nuremberg who are campaigning against the use of so much English in German, by shops, authorities and churches (Ticket-Office im Basement, Bratwurst Point, Feel-Good und Come-In Gottesdienst).

Thanks, abnu (I’m not sure you’d get away with that name in Germany…)

The Wordlab site has a link to an interesting article (with photo) on a new lavatory, an art object, in London, designed for tourists not wanting to miss any sightseeing time – it has one-way mirrored walls.

LATER NOTE: I see that Wordspy has an entry on Denglish. The earliest usage it found in English was in 1998.

bq. Example Citation:
“Many billboards have slogans in ‘Denglish’ — a mix of English and German. Ad posters for sleeveless jumpers call them ‘tanktops’. And Berlin’s roadsweepers are promoted under the slogan ‘We Kehr For You’ — kehr means to sweep.”
—Michael Lea, “Germans throw in towel and start talking English,” The Sun, April 7, 2000

9 thoughts on “Denglish article in English/Artikel auf Englisch zu Neudeutsch

  1. Thanks, Armin. I got the whole thing when it came out in German, but I didn’t report it here. Morfablog quotes the same article, and the earlier link relates to a Radio 4 programme in January.

  2. I always thought that Denglish was the language used by Mao-loving anti-Semitic Trotskyite cult leader Gerry Healy to write his demented rants, but I was wrong….

  3. I happened to watch a good part of “Auto Motor Sport”‘s tv edition today, where the remark “das eye-driven Design des Innenraums” left me totally horrified.

    Ad slogans like the roadsweepers’ still come along with a nice dose of humour, yet I have seen worse: “Do you like crisp Broetchen?”, “We make creamy Torten!” – early 90’s campaign of a Hannover bakery chain. What was missing was a ‘super’ line like “Put your Brotkorb self together!”

  4. As another thought I had this morning – I think the Denglish phenomenon upsets people more than the [let’s call it] Freutsch phenomenon back in earlier centuries, when German was influenced by French. Do you happen to know essays treating this matter?

  5. @hat. Oh yes, you’re quite right. Actually, there is a discussion about tank top on a translators’ mailing list today. Does it include tops with thin straps or not? To me, a tank top (two words, I think) is like a sleeveless T-shirt, sometimes with the armhole so cut out that it has broad straps. But a Google image search shows ones with thin strips (shoestring straps?) too. – Perhaps I can offer you Pullunder instead? Collins translates it as tank top! But I think it’s a short-sleeved or sleeveless garment you wear over a T-shirt or shirt.
    @mademoiselle a: No, I’ve never heard any criticism of the use of French in German at all, but I’m certainly not an expert.

  6. Mademoiselle a. I wonder what the crisp Brötchen were – rolls, perhaps. In Vienna the word means sandwiches – to the bemusement of North German visitors and tourists when dished up a plate of sandwiches bulging with unwanted fillings. Weckerl or Semmel are the local Au. versions.

    Chips is a related Denglisch problem to Brit. visitors who end up getting served crisps.

  7. A Broetchen, and I indicated Hannover [hinthint], naturally means a bread roll [or, the miniature version of a Brot]. The point though was another, where ‘crisp’ functions as an attribute – you wouldn’t want to translate that as a compound.

    Margaret, no wories :) I was just thinking about that issue.

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